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) .