Friday, October 30, 2009

The Leaf Turner

So, when I pitched my idea of “going on a hike” in my tutorial and received a less than even remotely interested response, I packed away my mind map and had a little think. What haven’t I done? I haven’t become a millionaire (yet), I haven’t eaten human flesh (not going to try that one), I haven’t lost any more DP’s recently (probably a good thing).

The list went on and nothing quite sparked my imagination until a friend suggested I spend the last night before swot week going back to my old ways *insert daunting music here*. Now, for the sake of clarification I am in fact a g08. I came to Rhodes University last year, bright eyed and relatively sober. I returned this year blurry eyed and rather pickled. After many a drunken trawl up and down New Street, stern looks from lecturers and pitying looks from locals; I thought it was time to turn a new leaf.

Since the beginning of third term I have not put a drink to my lips, not set a foot in a club/pub or bar and most importantly I have clear, vivid memories of the past two terms! Okay, so that was a slight over exaggeration, I have in fact done the trawl once or twice, but with a mere R2 to my name, so yes – not a sip of alcohol but rather a glass of water which I claimed was “vodka and sprite”.

Thinking that as a seasoned Rhodent my alcohol tolerance would have simply lain dormant over the past six months; I put on my dancing shoes, drinking hat and my game face. The night began with crackling pre-drinks, a stumble to friars and suddenly I found my heart palpitating gloriously along to some crappy Lady Gaga song and I felt… well… at home. As the night went on I began to wonder; what am I doing? Then proceeded to down my drink, slur “whooo-hooo” and promptly pass out in the corner.

I awoke the next morning wondering why my eyes seemed supernaturally glued together, why my head felt like a woodpecker was having the time of it’s life with my skull and why pray tell, was I wearing my domestic’s apron? As reality dawned; I recalled being taken home (possibly forcibly removed from friars), undressed and redressed in an apron (due to an unfortunate event with projectile vomiting from er, food poisoning), and left prone in a drunken stupor on my couch.

If I could remember the actual night, I'm sure I had a lot of fun. But for now, the leaf has been re-turned and until exams are over I will nurse my aching head and liver. I can feel the disapproving looks from my “maring” peers but being a “marer” is all good until you quit, then unfortunately for all the leaf turners out there – its best to keep that leaf well turned.

Nothing Better Than Coffee and Cigarettes in The Morning

Having become rather biased and partial to my own group’s blog I felt a strange sense of impending doom when we received our assignment brief. It was daunting to actually acknowledge that maybe our blog wasn’t quite the most fabulous creation; maybe, just maybe someone had a better idea with more… what was it? Oh yes – “flair”. Well, I held down ctrl and I clicked on the first thing that caught my attention.

I apprehensively opened my eyes and the flair was well and truly there. Cigarettes and Coffee (
), how I love those two very things, and here was a blog encompassing the cathartic early morning ritual so many of us either openly or sneakily partake in before those dreaded 7:45 lectures.

The blog’s background imagery consists of a worn wooden floor and a perfect cup of coffee contrasted with black and white stockinged feet. Further, they have a voting gadget, an informative and enticing “about me” section, two different “template headers”, many photographs and the actual writing is quick, clever and concise – it’s glorious.

I was so impressed that my egotistical nonsense about my own blog went right out the window. I spent the next three and a half hours going through every blog they had conceived and then through the entire JMS1 blog list, without even one cigarette break! Coffee and Cigarettes blog had set a very high standard for the others I was about to browse through, but I wasn’t disappointed by any of them. In face quite the opposite; the first year blogs of 09 are most certainly the epitome of great writing, creativity, insight and of course… flair.

An irresistable kind of blog?

Sugar-honey ice tea? This delicious-sounding mixture of a blog is at .

It even looks like it sounds because of its colour scheme and lively yellow patterns. Whilst the blog professes to be “schizophrenic” it is still neatly laid out and easy on the eyes. Entertainment News is its game and the collaborators update the blog twice-weekly. The articles are far from hard news-worthy, including articles on Busta Rhymes, Oprah, and scandalous adoptions.

Because it gives off a ‘gangsta’ impression a lot of slang is appropriately used in their writing such as “LOL” but this doesn’t mean that their punctuation is justifiably incorrect. There are chunks of text with no commas, and many apostrophes left out. Perhaps they were too ambitious in updating the blog often because I find that many of the articles are carelessly written and not very absorbing (Do we need a step by step commentary on Busta Rhymes’ lyrics?)

They didn’t really explore the technological potential of the blog by posting video clips, for example, but their use of bright and relevant pictures is very good. They did a poll on their followers to get their opinion of what they are discussing and I thought that this was an imaginative idea to encourage an audience response. This blog is similar to other entertainment blogs but the collaborators do give conflicting opinions on topics and if it interests you then can you really have too much of a good thing? The blog oozes passion about the genre.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Walking with the mind

Candice Struthers


For the past ten months of this year I have starred into the beautiful scenery surrounding my residence, namely Margaret Smith: a distant res, far far away from campus. Although I never quite ventured into these natural surroundings until yesterday where I was no longer a student, no longer ‘Candice”, no longer some being that exists purely to advance. I was wonderfully absent minded from reality.

It was a magic moment although the word ‘moment’ is not quite correct as that would imply time- here there was no time. I had entered a new world that ironically stood meters from reality. With no worries in the world my legs carried me to the aqua dam that lay ahead. I pictured the life beneath, the small fish and the movement of the water above them. Above water I felt the sky looking down and smiling at the nature that lay before it. The sounds were life and I only formed part of the symphony. I lay down for some of the time as if the wind had placed me there and awoke as if the sun had told me too, as if telling me that ‘bedtime’ had come or that my time was done.

Beyond the gate, into the deep thicket of grass that I had somehow lost touch with in my ‘normal’ life, I found myself a new character. I existed simply for each step and for each breath. Everything was alive, from my senses to the stones that crunched under my feet. My humanity was reduced to a blade of grass, although I delighted in this new feeling. I had no worry in the world, and I’ve never felt safer.

It might have been the intensity of the sun, the way it shone, the way it weaved itself between the grass that made everything in this hour so different – I simply don’t know. What I do know though is that I wasn’t in this world, figuratively that is. It is no doubt that this all occurred to me in my mind and that the things I felt were not completely ‘real’ although it’s the feeling that matters to me the most. In this hour I let myself be open to the influence of nature and I have never been more surprised. The power of the mind can therefore never be doubted: as ones soul lies in the hands on the mind that I now see can transport anyone anywhere. Pretty exciting I would say.

Follow the blogging rainbow

Utopia on the web

Candice Struthers


Two cuddly figures, possibly a mother and a daughter, look out toward a bright rainbow and blue blue sky. The daughter carries a lollipop and the mother holds her other hand. The trees are circular as are the mountains and white clouds. A safe haven: you have entered blog-topia!

On visiting “The Number 42 is Purple” the look and consequential ‘feel’ of the blog is what initially catches the reader’s eye. The almost but not quite childlike picture acts as the ‘cover’ of the blog and rejuvenates the readers’ need to read and need to be involved in the life that the blog possesses.

Intimacy within the blog is suggested by the two close figures. Four intelligent outspoken women are the makers of this new found blog-haven. Catherine addresses the reader about an experience between herself and another member in the group. The piece is delightful in its randomness but most importantly shares with the reader the close relationship between the four blogging journalists. There is a level in sincerity in the words of these women who cover topics such as the Nobel Peace Prize debate, rape victims as well as child trafficking.

Each post forms part of a literary rainbow which opens the reader to a world in which no boundaries exist. As the journalists are free so is the reader. The blog is delightful and easy to follow; also entertaining, organised and relevant. These women are prolific in creativity- follow them and see where the rainbow takes you.

Taking note of other blogs

‘Please Note the Following’ ( is a blog created and contributed to by 4 first year journalism students. One of the bloggers states that their blog serves to “inform the world about issues and happenings in a reader friendly way”. It is also advertised on twitter as: “Not another teen blog? This one’s worth it, with an aim to devastate and deviate.” Contradictory to this, one blogger’s view is that the blog is written “with the intention of addressing the more ‘mundane’ things – the events have become ‘insignificant’”. Although the blog does not present what it was intended to it is somewhat interesting. The bloggers comment on popular culture in articles such as “Don’t wanna be an American idiot” and “Tomorrow Converse will still be popular”. Music is featured in the post “Rocking the Daisies 2009”. A large portion of what is written involves the nature of journalism, the ethics behind journalism and becoming a journalist. “The Painters of Battles” and “Why waste the time” are two such posts. Political commentary and opinion do feature prominently in the blog. ‘Please Note the Following’ serves as an insight to the thoughts and interests of journalism students. There are some very valid and interesting comments and concepts. This blog is an amalgamation of what these 4 journalism students think their followers should take note of. In contrast to a blog such as which has a very clear focus, this blog lacks a main objective however as a journalism student it may be relevant to internalising the role of a journalist.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Observing the Grahamstown Observatory

Having only time for art galleries and little patience for museums I decided to move out of narrow minded comfort zone and confront the most boring museum (rumour has it) in all of Grahamstown- the Observatory Museum. On entrance I expected to be confronted with instant fatigue and a desire to claw my way out of the door…my experience however, was vastly different. Despite the strange and rather creepy Victorian figures staring blankly at you from every angle, the visit proved to be interesting and educational. The camera obscura placed in the actual observatory above the museum stole the show. The museum was a house owned by Henry Carter Galpin, goldsmith and watchmaker interested in astronomy, from 1850-1886. Working via a simple mirror placed on the roof of the observatory (which I had a look at by climbing up a rickety ladder) you can see the whole of Grahamstown in moving detail (from people to cars and stray dogs) on a large white circular board. It is fascinating and slightly unnerving to see absolutely everything outside- within the museum in perfect focus and detail and knowing that perhaps minutes ago someone had been staring at me-in-miniature walking down the street. My advice to anyone who lives in Grahamstown or who visits (careful you don’t blink) this quaint town, a visit to the Observatory is definitely in order.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Escape from a hot day

Our brief was to do something out of the ordinary. I decided to to go somewhere I'd never been before. It was a boiling hot day, and I was feeling claustrophobic, so I ventured outside of Grahamstown and came accross an oasis.
Grey dam is in effect a third space from a journalistic point of view.
People from all over town gather there to relax and chat. There were students tanning, people getting dropped off by taxis to join a braai, and many picnickers.
I swung out over the dam and loved it. Being there calms you down, it cools you down. I will definitely be returning there.

A new & interesting experience

Angela Mac Donald

A new & interesting experience

It was late Sunday night when I checked my email to find out what JMS1 tutorial preparation/assignment was due for Monday afternoon. Presented with the task of partaking in something unfamiliar, different, fun, for at least an hour, I decided I would join in on the boys' LAN.

To be a bit more specific, I was at my boyfriend's house (Chris) with his two best friends (Matt and Damien). The guys had decided to relive one of their all time favourite childhood experiences by LANing for hours on end.

The pull-in factor for me was that (a) I have never taken part in a LAN, (b) my younger brother and his friends LAN and I was interested to know what it was all about, (c) I wanted to experience what it was like to be completely absorbed in the happenings on my PC screen.

All in all, I found the experience surprisingly exhilarating and absorbing. Call Of Duty 2 (aka COD2) is such an awesome game; the graphics are brilliant, the actions and audio are frighteningly realistic and the suspense is unmatched by any other computer game I have ever played. It is definitely an experience that I look forward to taking part in again; hopefully with my little brother next time.

To anyone who has never played COD2, give it a go! It feels so great to step out of your comfort zone, even if it's only for a while, and be one of the boys.

A walk down "The Paper Trail"

Angela Mac Donald

A walk down The Paper Trail

Firstly, I love The Paper Trail's blog set-up; the whole folio note book and pencil crayons really does it for me - it is what I envisage when I think about writing.

The blog posts are personal, well written, professional, and interesting. I particularly like how the blogger's included images wherever possible; it gives their posts that little something extra.

There were a couple of blog posts that really caught my eye and that I enjoyed reading. These were:

"You asked for it!" by Marina Maema.
I enjoyed how Maema addressed the whole paparazzi issue and how it was easy to hear her own personal voice coming through. I definitely share her view.

"Let's be considerate" by Cam Skerritt.
This particular article resonated with me as I am very concerned about animal rights. The post is factual and informative. Coincidentally, I also wrote my opinion piece on anti-animal cruelty.

"Our President of the Free World" by Nkuli Nhlabathi.
I enjoyed this piece particularly because it was written in the first person. Nhlabathi expressed his opinion clearly and his voice was loud and clear.

"Armed gang hits Joburg bakery" by Candice Scear.
I was unaware of the Johannesburg robbery so the article was very informative. I love how Scear questions human kind in the third paragraph, making it truly personal.

If you are interested in taking a walk down The Paper Trail click on the link below:

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Object of Objectivity

By Candace Gawler

Objectivity simply means not to be influenced by personal feelings or prejudice, based on facts or unbiased. The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘objective’ as “not influenced by personal feelings or opinions; considering only facts.”Well that’s all very well ‘a thing that is known to be true’- a fact. What is truth? As we are steadily learning as journalism students, it is a rather ambivalent term. As some might realise there are what I like to call versions of the truth. I may see a chinchilla and you may see a long-haired cat, neither of us is wrong, both statements are the truth so surely one of us was being subjective. However they are both seemingly objective observations. If I say ‘it is a chinchilla” am I being any less objective by saying “I see a chinchilla’ just because of the inclusion of ‘I’ in the statement? In journalism whether writing in the fist or third person there is an ‘I’ sitting behind the desk writing the story. Objectivity cannot exist. It is simply impossible to be entirely objective. Humans are the most emotional of all beings. As a journalist you present your version of the events, they cannot be deemed incorrect however they are seen from your perspective and it is impossible to remove yourself. As Einstein so cleverly pointed out- it is all relative. Everything is relative to our perspective. You and I may see the same thing however my version will probably differ from yours. An interesting article called “Objectivity in journalism is an illusion” ( may help you understand and realise that objectivity is an incredibly stupid and idealistic concept. “Objectivity and journalism: an essay” ( is a very interesting take on this goal of objectivity we journalists-in-the making strive for. I have decided it is an absurd notion that should be dropped. We should not aim to be objective, it is impossible. We should aim to present the truth from our perspective. The truth, even with all its versions may just matter a bit more than objectivity. Some would see objectivity as a means to presenting the truth- but don’t fool yourself. You don’t have the capacity to be objective I’m afraid, after all, you are only human.

Political Correctness, or rather Opinionated Appropriateness?

Mao Zedong (Tse-Tsung) a revolutionary and political theorist, also one of the Top 100 most influential people in the world, coined the term “Political Correctness” . As defined by any student’s trusty but underground source; Wikipedia, this term refers to language which attempts to minimize social offense. Okay, now that doesn’t sound like a bad idea in theory. We most certainly should be aware of our body language, behaviour and language in order to promote peaceful social organisation. The problem, however, with this grand idea is that “political correctness” has become merely a euphemism for censorship, sanctioning and social suppression of the individual . In a world where the term “hermaphrodite” is smothered with “political correctness” thus becoming “intersexual” or a even the term “maid” is transformed to “domestic technician”, one must question whether we might be taking it a little far. As a learner, not a student of course, entering into a discourse about Journalism, not a “lesson” by the way, with educators (God forbid I call them “teachers” or “lecturers” – that is far too taboo) I am constantly struck by this odd endeavour towards total “objectivity” and “political correctness”. I thought we were here to form opinions, to have them challenged and shattered, to rebuild more informed opinions regardless how biased or inappropriate. Isn’t that the point of higher education? Quite frankly, if someone were to refer to me as a “womyn”, “female human”, or as a “gender specified human organism of lighter complexion”; I would sum up every ounce of “political correctness” within me, and tell them to piss off.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Praise for a politician

Don’t despair in politicians. On Tuesday South Africa’s Minister of foreign affairs, Nkoana Mashabane, gave a talk at Rhodes University. Whilst many South Africans believe that our politicians are boring and inactive the show put on by this accomplished woman begs to differ. She begins her speech by poking fun at her balding colleague and the introductory speaker. Then going on to give some students advice on their sex-lives, promoting dedication to studies and the delay of other activities until one’s 30s. She satirizes the importance of what she has to say when some students leave the room early - but I am sure that these students did not opt to leave the lecture theatre because of a lack of entertainment. The mere fact that students are now able to hear members of government talk live is evidence of some government progress. (Earlier this year I even had the privilege of hearing a speech by President Thabo Mbeki.) In Minister Mashabane’s speech she emphasized the importance of engaging with South African citizens and this speech was clearly evidence of the department’s mission. Whilst trying to build up a good image may seem unimportant to many it boosts support for the ideals that the department are trying to achieve and increases citizen diplomacy which will help them achieve those goals. I think that every bit of positive work that politicians do (that is not in their own interest) can aid our country in becoming successful.

Her speech is at:

A little Chuck Bass or a little Edward Cullen?

Tapping into the ‘dark’ world in which unreal vulnerabilities make us feel safer than ever.

The gorgeous vampire men who have this far graced our screens are not the solo driving forces behind this years vampire craze. Twilight has set in motion vampire-entertainment which has been received exceptionally well by the young world. Film and media often reflect the tone of the times, as people across the globe struggle in a financial crisis that hasn’t been experienced since the Great Depression. Hence we exist is a ‘dark’ time, one that may be a likened to the abundant vampire material of this year. Lady Gaga recently appeared on the cover of Out Magazine highlighting the vampire ‘fashion’ with blood, black and little clothing to cover her trendy ‘white’ body. The current 1420835 fans on the official Robert Pattinson Facebook Page bare a piece of society’s new obsession. The ‘dark’ future intends not to end with vampires but move toward the more grotesque as Zombieland a new epic film is set to hit cinemas in November. The innocence of the Twilight saga has rapidly developed to encompass a larger target audience. True Blood exemplifies vampire-porn and The Vampire Dairies captivate a deeper evil. Ultimately, graphics and evil aside, the vampire trend stands in great perfection to the reality in which we live. Even the Chuck Bass’s of the world cannot compare to the forever committed, passionate, strong, deep and dangerous vampires that have become the pale yet beautiful objects of our imaginations.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Life is life, whether in a cat or a dog or a man!

Angela Mac Donald


Life is life, whether in a cat, or a dog, or a man!

Although I can acknowledge that there are many things in this world that I do not understand and do not necessarily approve of, there is one cause for which I will not stand back.

Cruelty towards animals is a disgusting and heinous crime. In my opinion, people who are cruel towards animals deserve to be treated in the exact same way. As Ingrid Newkirk said, "When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst; a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." Cruelty towards animals, in my eyes, is a worldwide epidemic. It is a blanant display of the barbarity and crudity of western society and the sick perception so often held by its inhabitants that animals are without rights.
Animals cannot speak for themselves, and they (especially our pets) depend on us for love, care, and safety. What really makes me question humanity is how a person can feel no compassion for an animal that they have hurt, but can still claim to love a fellow human being - what is the difference, both are living things!! One could just as easilly argue that how one treats animals is a good indicator of how he/she treats fellow human beings.
As well as sport and domestic abuse of animals, animal testing is just as unjust. George Bernard Shaw said the following of vivisection, "Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character."

For more anti-animal cruelty quotes visit:

Woops, who broke the moon?

So, NASA bombed the moon. To some this may sound impressive, daring and rather exciting but in my mind it sounds rather – to be frank, blatantly stupid. Who bombs the moon? Well, NASA does apparently (

Their aim was in fact, to shoot a rocket that will project a missile (yes, they weren’t messing around) from Cape Canaveral, out through the atmosphere and into the great unknown with the intention of literally bombing the moon. The purpose, you may be wondering, was for a group of seemingly bored scientists to test if they could create water ( Sounds like a good idea, yes? No. How do us mere humans, down here on our little safe planet, actually know what our “bright ideas” will provoke?

Our understanding of the universe, ( no matter how worldly, intelligent or well-studied we are is not in the least adequate enough for us to be shooting off missiles and attempting to create water on a piece of floating rock which we actually kind of need… you know that thing that in partnership with the sun that dictates day and night?

Now, I am personally all for science, innovation and progress but somehow this seems to be a rather rash and idiotic move forward. Yes, it would absolutely earth-shattering (probably literally) if they could create water by bombing the moon, but how about we leave that up to big guy in heaven. He seemed to manage quite fine without our missiles and look, he created oceans.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Malema Dilemma

I watched Thabo Mbeki’s resignation speech leaning against a Steers counter at a BP petrol station almost a year ago. The sorry sight is still being referred back to today. SAPA recently described Julius Malema, leader of the ANC Youth League, as “disrespectful,” “an embarrassment to the party,” and someone whose behaviour towards Mbeki was “un-African,” and “unacceptable.” (
Malema’s controversial statements with more recent examples such as his recent ploy to mobilise society against Nedbank after its withdrawal of sponsorship from Athletics SA need some consequences. Another example is his attack on Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Bheki Mbanjwa reported that, ““In his latest attack, Malema referred to Buthelezi as a "factory fault", while calling the IFP a "terrorist organisation"!” ( ) We cannot have someone in such a powerful position, who we democratically voted for, threaten the integrity and freedom of NGOs and individuals. He does not seem phased by the ANC’s reprimands and I agree with the Mail and Guardian when they say that he has become a “dilemma which can no longer be ignored”. Their article showcases Malema as arrogant and unaware of the regional and international consequences of the seemingly narrow-minded things he says. ( ) We cannot continue to let him continue on his rampage, and by ‘we’ I mean the ANC. As the leaders of our country they need to take action and make Malema aware that there are negative repercussions from the careless things he says. Perhaps we can oust Malema just like Mbeki was removed from the presidency.

The Nobel One

By Candace Gawler

The name ‘Obama’ used to conjure up images of the gorgeous man who was a promise of hope and a better world. Despite my loyalty to the man, the name now conjures up ‘Peace’, ‘Prize’….Noble….'Nobel'? The main question on everyone’s mind is: did Obama really deserve that Nobel Peace Prize? Has he done enough to deserve it? Peter Beaumont asks precisely this question in his article entitled “Barack Obama’s Nobel prize: Why now?” in the Mail and Guardian ( America still has troops in Iraq, how is this peaceful? The Nobel committee nominated Obama on the basis of “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Peter Vale, a Politics and International Relations Professor at Rhodes University, believes that the troops will be withdrawn within the next few months. It is Obama's intention to resolve the war on terrorism peacefully however he has not YET done anything substantial that warrants getting the award. Although he has good intentions his vision has not manifested any consequential results. However I also question if there is anyone else worthy of the prize? As Obama is the leader of such a powerful country, and we must admit that America has hegemony over the world at the moment, it is more likely that the world can come closer to reaching Obama’s “vision … for a world without nuclear weapons." (
Obama said he was surprised and humbled by the award and it is felt by some that it may spur the White House into action with the media’s beady eye on them yet again.( To watch a video of Obama’s acceptance speech go to:

No more ice baby

Freezing old
Candice Struthers

Every few months we are enlightened by numerous news reports of the melting ice caps in the Arctic and the “summer sea” that is to replace the ice within what they now assume could be as little as a decade.
One may hear of these stories possibly three to four times a year and every time they are confronted with the same spell of nostalgia that leaves them helpless in the comfortable arms of their chairs at home. Explorers, scientists, environmentalists and the like set out to better their findings and develop solutions to combat the epidemic. The structure of the story never changes, only the content and therefore one assumes little progress.,1,22&type=top&File=080828040228.y4aeutld.xml
We at the other side of the television watch with disability as no matter how much we listen we are limited by our inferior knowledge and expertise. Yes we can use less petrol or less deodorant during the day and other ‘solutions’ (to reduce carbon emissions) to aid the slowing down of the melting process but ultimately there is little that we can do big enough to fight this growing anxiety about the world around us. So we’ll continue to listen and we’ll continue to smell a little less than ‘great‘ during the day and as we do we will hope and pray that someone somewhere can help an entire world of people within the span of an uncertain decade or two.
(238 words)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tragic loss for family, friends, & fans of Boyzone’s Stephen Gately.

Angela Mac Donald

Tragic loss for family, friends, & fans of Boyzone’s Stephen Gately.

The late Stephen Gately, member of the five-man Irish band, Boyzone, died on Saturday 10 October 2009 while holidaying on the Spanish island of Majorca with his civil partner, Andrew Cowles.

A post-mortem revealed that the star died of natural causes, specifically pulmonary oedema, which is an accumulation of fluid on the lungs causing respiratory failure.

Speculation that the star choked on his own vomit has been dismissed by officials saying that neither drugs nor alcohol were involved in his death. In order to confirm the post-mortem results, a sample of pulmonary fluid will be sent to a forensic laboratory in Barcelona.

X Factor judge Louis Walsh, who created the boy band, said: "We're all in shock. We still cannot believe it.” This feeling is shared by family and friends who are battling to come to terms with the 33-year-old’s sudden death.

Spokesman for Gately's family Ireland, Lawyer Gerald Kean, confirmed that the necessary papers have been signed in order to allow the release of Gately’s body. Although permission for the body to be flown home has been granted, it may take a few more days for it to reach Ireland.
(228 words)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Literature of the 21st century

Investigating myths...

Rhodes Streakers

No Place Like Home

There's no place like home -
Sunset at Long Beach in Noordhoek,
Cape Town, 2009.

(click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ROAR Animal Awareness Week

It's Animal Awareness Week at Rhodes and ROAR [Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights] members, along with other like-minded students performed a protest of Anti-Vivisection outside Zoo major. Coincidently, the first years had been performing rat disections today - hence; "Love thy fellow Rodent". 07-10-09

See link:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Manifesto of a Student Journalist Blogger

By Jessica Kate Stuart-Clark

The Art of Unobjectivity, a blog which provides a platform for honesty, realism and a safe spaceutterly biased, definitively politically incorrect and truly, royally unobjective posts. This blog provides an arena whereby, both the team and our followers can express their opinions without hesitation, censorship and sanctions – freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom from the confines of a subjective ideal, could a journalist truly ask for more?

Our intention is most certainly evident, we intend to promote the art of unobjectivity, defining our concept through the subject matter which we explore and express. Through defining what is considered unobjective and honestly rather subjective or biased we can begin to truly grapple with the idea of objectivity. We are young adults, opinionated, independent and painfully ready to embrace our future with the eagerness of children. We shall employ our blog, our platform, as a means to express ideas, confront conflict and enter into the magical discourse that makes our world so truly exciting.

Today, as student journalists we are thrown head first into a dichotomy of reality and idealism. We are told to express our creativity, research our interests, become absorbed and fulfil our journalistic potential whilst creating snappy headlines and working on far too many articles at once. Instead we find ourselves wrapped, trapped amidst politics. The politics of being subjective, unbiased, politically correct. Everyone has at least once experienced the euphemistic nature of political correctness: someone labelled “lighter in complexion” rather than “white”, Zuma’s corruption charges dropped labelled “unfortunate” rather than, frankly; “effing ridiculous”. It is time to claim our opinions, to be a little biased and a little subjective. It is time that we begin to say what we mean. Of course this does not mean that sensitivity, tact, empathy and sympathy must become null and void, but rather employed as a tool when forming an opinion rather than a restriction. The delicious ambiguity and incomprehensible world is exciting, ever-changing and an opinion or standpoint is merely the beginning of a fascinating, consuming discussion.

As a student journalist, I intend to embrace the ambiguities, the dichotomies, the glorious discourse and if you will – the good, the bad and the ugly. I will write from my point of view, first person and utterly subjective. Journalism is a fancy word for writing and with the increase of citizen journalism it is more than appropriate that we rebel against the restrictions of convention, and Write. Express. Enjoy. I will stick to the facts and the fantasy, confide and withhold, create perfection and mistakes, embrace the contradictions of human nature and reflect that within my decisively indecisive, articulately incoherent writing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Manifesto of a student journalist blogger

By Candice Struthers
This blog is aimed at any one who has a voice and is not afraid to use it! This blog has no definite age, gender or interest target group as anyone can read it and all opinions and pieces of information are completely relevant. We encourage people on this blog to delve deep into matters that interest them the most. Other bloggers will aid their ‘study’ (if you like) by further research where interest is due. The idea is that a random thought may be put onto the blog and within days become a fully developed debated subject. Bloggers will never lack being well informed as most times the things that concern people, are topical and relevant to the current times. News features are likely to appear on the blog page, although it is not one-sided as people can really get involved and include a range of sources that the news may have neglected. Opinions are not fact although they have importance in the way that people view the world. On this blog people will confront fact and opinion and form a rich and diverse opinion of certain subjects if not the world. The aim is that bloggers do not hold back but launch themselves fully into what ever it is that fascinates them, that is relevant and that has some kind of importance to them.

Our blog page does not feature the full stories but rather cartoon and note snippets that give one the general census about what is on offer. It is like going to a candy store, where the wrapping of each sweet entices one’s interest, but until they have open the wrapper and eat the sweet do they see and taste what it is all about. Bloggers cannot simply arrive at the blog page with ill-informed opinions as they have failed to research what it is they are objecting to or agreeing with. Bloggers must upload more than ‘what they think’ in order to be taken seriously.

My voice wishes to have a relevant opinion about things that concern my daily life and the people in it. Here each blogger can give a piece of their knowledge to the followers found on this blog and share in the privileged knowledge of the world- as without our brains where would we be?

This particular blog has a key focus on journalism which is a fantastic springboard off which to voice one’s opinions because in the world of journalism there is little that goes unnoticed: Your auntie on Green Lane experiences a high jacking and you’re in with the rest of society to know about it before she can pick up the phone!

My manifesto as a journalism student and blogger

By Amy Uzzell

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less travelled by- and that has made all the difference"- Robert Frost. I am aiming my blog at absolutely anyone who wants to discover my perspective of things. Why would they want to do this? Well, because I am a creative and critical person and if they enjoy and feel enriched by what I have to say then I would be happy for them to read it.

It will be done by revealing things from my point of view with the back drop of my past experiences and the people and places that have influence on and have influenced my life. I am very interested in hearing people's stories and trying to capture the essence of what they want to tell the world- as a journalist I will be a tool to capture and articulate what people have to say. By "taking the road less travelled by" I want to abandon conventionality- or at least try to. It is impossible to be ‘unobjective’, we are all affected by the world around us, but like the title of this blog, THE ART OF UNOBJECTIVITY, suggests this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Hopefully people will find my opinion refreshing. I am annoyed by how blasé people are today and I admire those who stand by their own opinions, it is indeed an art.

Journalism students tend to be very ambitious, perhaps too ambitious. I too am a member of this 'generalised clan.' You have to work hard to stand out and decide how you are going to deal with the fact that a lot of journalism seems to be solely driven by money and NGO’s. And there is so much media everywhere. I want my opinion to matter and to be valued for its sake. Journalism is an important mode of expression and the media is vital in a democracy and in uniting the community as a whole. As a journalism student I want to show you how my opinion develops as I delve deeper into understanding the media and my role in it. By publishing this on this blog, it can be up-to-date, almost live.

My Manifesto as a Journalism Student and Blogger

By Candace Gawler

Critical, creative, articulate and as the blog's title may suggest, UNOBJECTIVE- I aim to discuss the truth from my perspective. Completely bias, utterly truthful and untainted by convention, this blog allows for freedom of expression and a safe space where bloggers should feel free to say their say. I plan to say my say.

Todor Zhivkov said "A good journalist is not the one that writes what people say, but the one that writes what he is supposed to write." I completely disagree, we ought to challenge this convention and as future journalists,ensure journalism is a more intelligent and worthwhile practice than that. As George Bernard Shaw (a writer and journalist) said "We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be."
Journalism may not be about objectivity after all, it could be a collection of subjective viewpoints. In other words- a construction and collection of 'unobjectivity' created to sound detached and thus 'objective'. I will willingly give my viewpoint. Being allowed the opportunity to view and challenge other people's opinions and standpoints allows fellow journalism students to develop critical thinking and an awareness of how others think.

I view journalism as a practice that allows for facts and the thoughts surrounding those 'facts' or hard news to be expressed. I personally find writing hard news a mundane business but it is the analysis, opinion and comment on news that I enjoy reading and writing. In a world where technology reigns and information is passed around so easily (and at an alarming rate) I think it is important that people take time to analyse and comment critically on the news. It is important that a little sanity is found amongst the madness of 21st century existence. As a student of journalism in a time where the media is shifting so drastically from the print format it has always known, it is a challenge to be able to grapple with the huge amount of information at our fingertips. It is difficult understanding our role as 'journalists' when, by the creation of this blog we are proving, anyone with access to a computer can be 'a journalist'.

George Bernard Shaw once wittily wrote "I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation." So as I always say, let’s all call a spade a shovel or whatever it is you feel like calling it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

My identity as a journalist

I am skilful and resourceful which makes my methods of journalism variable and increasingly creative. These skills aid my journalism as the sources I acquire cover many themes that are relevant, interesting and have a taste for the absurd.

My journalism is approached from a variety of angles, most times the unexpected. I wish for readers and observers to extend their knowledge through my journalism and they are able to do this as they are confronted with challenging and completely shocking thoughts as well as ideas following them.

My identity as a journalist is to surprise but also to inform. My journalism is therefore topical and relevant to the current times. My passions are documentaries and ‘juicy’ stories that have been deeply researched.

My Identity as a Journalist

When it comes to who I truly am, the real, subjective Jessica; I am deliciously ambiguous. I am open and generous whilst being cynical and discerning. I am decisively indecisive and articulately incoherent.

I am a journalist because in the midst of my opinionated, subjective, and utterly biased perceptions, I am caught up in the glorious discourse of our ever-changing world.

I am a mess of honest contradictions, unconscious ambiguities and the imperfections of uniqueness. I am real, without pretence, and my writing reflects this sentiment.

My Identity as a Journalist

  • I am a creative journalist because I want to write from a different angle. I want to give an opinionated view point that does not just glance over socio-political issues like a lot of hard news does. It is important to view issues in new lights and hopefully to get readers to pose new questions about them.
  • I am a resourceful journalist. I want to make use of the experiences that affect me personally and travel so that I can extend my influences by learning about a wide range of different people.
  • I am a hardworking journalist, I want to be proud of the stories that I write.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What kind of blogger am I?

Marvellously critical and energetic would be my chosen adjectives in defining myself as a blogger, however my intentions are honourable in terms of contributing to the world of journalism. I aim to be honest, articulate and thoughtful in my practices as a journalism student and blogger. Through my work I aim to comment, entertain and activate some sort of cerebral activity in readers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manifesto of a journalist blogger

Angela Mac Donald
Manifesto of a journalist blogger

Loud. Confident. Ambitious. These are a few of the words that describe me the best. My name is Angela Mac Donald, although I prefer to be called Angie – it’s a little more chilled out so far as I am concerned. I am 19 years old and I am currently a first year journalism student at Rhodes University.

Some would say that I am a real Barbie, a princess- I love spending hours to get ready, I love pink and sparkles, I, like most people, like to get my own way. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that everything in life isn’t always pretty and perfect, though of course deep down, I wish it was. I see the world as my stage, my notebook, my audience, my place to shine. I am not one for regrets. I know that I do not have all the time in the world and for this reason I try to make the most everything – my relationships (family, friends, boyfriends, etc), my personal development, my academics, my skills as a writer – I am a perfectionist and I want to be the very best I can be. I am a positive person and I always try to look for the good in people. I believe in honesty and loyalty, especially when it comes to oneself; no matter what, always be true to yourself, your opinions, your ideals; after all, these are the things that make you who you are. I value family (this includes best friends) above everything. I believe that these are the people who will love and support you unconditionally and without them you are screwed!

Now, with regard to journalism and being a journalism student... Firstly, I decided to study journalism for a number of reasons. (1) I love writing. (2) I like being the first to know things [breaking news]. (3) I want to travel the world and journalism is a career you can do in most countries. While I am enjoying life as a journalism student, I find the theory rather frustrating - it feels like we never get to write anymore. Having said that, when we do get a chance to write we have to do our utmost to be objective! Wow, that is far easier said than done! In the journalism (news) field it feels as though there is minimal space to convey your own personal opinions and ideas. Although I suppose maybe that is what blogging is for? (Hence this blog group.) As a journalist my goals are to be successful, honest, well-known, and respected.

In conclusion, I’d like to impart my three main ideals for my overall personal happiness…
Peace. Love. Party

My idEnTitY aS a J0urNaLisT*

My idEnTitY aS a J0urNaLisT*

·As a journalist I would say that I am honest and opinionated.

·One could argue that when writing I often find it difficult to get straight to the point, I do enjoy being descriptive – after all, English is my passion!

·During our JMS1 ‘identity’ tutorial I realised that although I know who I am and what I like, etc… I feel as though I have to be slightly different when it comes to journalism… for example, I am the type of person who describes every detail, and I enjoy doing it. Although unfortunately when it comes to news articles there is not much room for description (i.e. with limited space, one is often unable to describe the setting, the way the murderer’s face looked at the time of his conviction, the sound of the strikers in the street) .