Monday, September 28, 2009

Journalists are Superheroes

By Kirst Heilgendorff

Tweet: Journalists are Superheroes!! Come read my blog to find out more at:

I’m pretty sure that I don’t stand alone when I say that there is more to life than simply studying, money and partying. Although all three are vitally important, some more than others, having only these three aspects of life to live for is well…ordinary. And personally, I think being ordinary is boring. And who would want to be part of a boring person’s life when there are so many vibrant, extraordinary people out there? (Unless you’re related to them in which case you have no choice in the matter.)

The coursework in this term’s Journalism class revolves around the idea that Journalism is a reflection of our lives, that our personality and emotions relate to our writing, that our writing can affect people and that people can change the world. This to me is the core reason of why I want to do Journalism. I am craving to live this extraordinary live and being a journalist can do just that. Being a journalist can make you into a Super Hero. Think about it, journalism gives us a tool to affect other people. Effectively, it can give us a tool to change the world.

What really grates my cheese though is that so many journalists are given all this power, yet they waste it on what I see as insignificant and trivial matters such as celebrities with cellulite. I don’t want to name certain magazines, although I’m sure you all know which ones I’m talking about, but some magazines are filled with what only constitutes as gossip and scandal. I do believe that there is a time and a place for such articles and that people do need a bit of cheering up once in a while considering that sometimes all we seem to hear is the dreary news on the seven o clock news channels. I feel, however, that we need more Maddy Bowens in this world and yes, I am referring to the fictional journalist in Blood Diamond. To me, this character fully depicts the potential that all journalists have to radically make a mark in situations and force change and transformations that need to occur. Maddy basically single handedly exposed the illicit diamond market and the lengths and torturous acts that people would go through to attain them. She was one women, who through journalism changed the lives of countless people.

The fact of the matter is, I know that I want to be extraordinary; I want to leave a mark, make a difference, change the world. The question is, do you?

Dream a Little, Dream of Me

By Cassy van Eeden

Tweet: cassystarsHey guys! Check out my 'Personal Mission Statement' about my dreams and aspirations on my new blog: #rublogs

When given the task of defining myself and who I am as a journalist and a blogger I came up with one very simple word, a word that perfectly combines all the many things that make up who I am: Cassy. My name has exceptional meaning to me. It is all that I am. I am Cassy. Some days I am creative and inspired and others I am completely irrational and out of control. I am forever changing and my mood is certainly not the most constant thing about me, but the one thing that will always remain the same is who I am, Cassy.

My dreams are what motivate me the most, especially those of becoming a successful director and TV journalist. Working behind the camera is what I feel I would be best at. I think that I could best inform and communicate with the public and fulfil my role as a journalist through the production of television and the many aspects that it involves. Without having these dreams, I would be nobody, the name Cassy would not mean anything to anyone and – perhaps more importantly – it would mean nothing to me.

Motivation has always been something I have battled to maintain in my work ethic. However, recently I adopted a new outlook that I feel helps me more than any form of positive thinking or cheesy mantra ever has. I read a poem entitled ‘You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be’ by Donna Levine. After internalising the somewhat broad point she makes about each person having the potential to be great, I realised what it was about this poem that struck a chord inside me most: “each day, take one step towards your dream”.
Often I feel like my dreams, even though they are sometimes the only thing that keeps me going, are just far too big and out of reach. But I have now realised that as long as I take one step, no matter how small it may be, each and every day towards my dream, I will eventually achieve all that I want to. No matter how small this step may be, it is never insignificant.

With this in mind I am now able to see every assignment, lecture, essay, tutorial or rehearsal as me taking one step closer to achieving my dream. Even when the stress and responsibility becomes overwhelming and all I want to do in crumble into a heap of tears, I hold onto this idea and somehow I make it through. Sometimes even getting out of bed in the morning is a massive struggle, (but who would Cassy be without these never-ending battles) however, these days it is getting easier to wake up and get going with my day because, as soon as I roll out of my duvet and rub the sleep from my eyes, I have taken yet another small step towards my dream.

Blog Manifesto

By Shavaughn Haack

ShavaughnHPlease please check out what my new journ blog is all about, and follow if you're interested: #rublogs

Before I start updating the blog with posts it would be sensible to know where I am going and the reason behind my writing. This is my personal mission statement for the blog:

The blog is aimed at any journalism student who is interested in the lives of others just like themselves. The idea behind our blog is students on a coffee break, discussing their lives as aspiring journalists. There is a reflective feel to it, discussing how the journalism course and media studies has changed the way we read and view media. This blog provides a platform for journalism students to share their ideas, grievances, fears and passions. We are looking to provide informal learning opportunities and a forum to discuss what is going on in the world around us.

I am intrigued by the concept that everyone has a story and the journalist just has to find it. This is what excites me about the world of journalism. Personally, I love observing people and situations, I think you can learn so much from other people. The nature of journalism and reporting allows it to continuously make assessments on society and record events for history along the way. So even when I don't have too much to say myself, there is always someone out there who can share their story.

With my blogging, I aim to produce work and articles that reflect the groups combined personality and identity but also inject my own personality into my pieces. My posts should show the different spheres of a student journalist’s life: the hard work, the relaxation times, the social times but mostly the hard work. I want to use this blog to learn and to be used as an opportunity to grow my writing. I think it is a very important skill to be able to adapt my writing style and broaden my sphere of influence. Aspiring journalists and writers need to consider how the world of journalism is rapidly changing; this is a concern that is heavy on the minds of my classmates. This blogging exercise should be used to reignite a love for writing in myself and others and as an awakening to the possibilities of the world of new media.

I honestly love reading. Still I am selfish in my love for reading, I find reading truly worthwhile when I can relate to the content. It is important for the writer to keep in mind that a it is more pleasurable to read something of interest to the reader. Journalism has changed the way I read media because I am aware of the writer and the reader. The process of blogging should also add something fresh to our writing and it should be interesting how our writing matures through this course.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Personal Mission Statement

Blog Writing Assignment 1: What Kind of Blogger am I?
By: Nicole Twaddle

Tweet: My personal mission statement is now up and posted on my blog, go and check it out now at #rublogs

The life of a journalism student is never complete. There are endless tasks, articles and assignments to perform, at least that is the way it feels. I have started out in this course positive and excited about what Journalism and Media Studies will teach me, however I am now faced with a difficult decision.
The course has delved into the basics, which I know are important, however the manner is which they go about this is not one that agrees with my learning style. I am hard-working, reliable, dependent and thoughtful, which is a good set of traits to succeed as a journalist; however I do not wish to write. It is not one of my strong points, and this I am sure of, which therefore leaves me with media studies, however we have not been exposed to many of the media studies offered in the course. This blog is actually the first real media studies related module of the course.
To put it quite simply, I am a 19 year old student that is confused about my degree choice, so now a decision on my part needs to be made about my future, whether I continue with my chosen degree, or of I should change? This one decision affects my whole life, which is very scary considering I am just starting out in the world. I know that the journalism career field is vast, however I do not know if it is the right one for me. This has been playing on my mind for some time now, and now that we finally have the means to express ourselves I intend on talking about my decision and thoughts on journalism as a course, something that maybe others can relate to. Perhaps some journalism students that have already gone through what I am going through can relate, and give me advice. Our whole blogs manifesto is about interaction, more specifically, journalism students interacting with one another.
So with this assignment, when I blog, it will not only be about the assignments we have to do in class or any complaints, but also about my struggle with the decision that needs to be made. But even if you do not wish to interact with me, there are 3 other journalism students available on this blog, which is beauty of it; there are endless options on our blog. We want it to be more of a retreat away from work and pressure, to simply relax and take your mind away from everything for a while. Basically, have a cigarette and coffee break with our blog.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reflection on Tutorial 2

by Shavaughn Haack

All the Journalism and Media Studies 1 students had to fill out a Suspect Identification Form for the second tutorial. Initially, the exercise did not really make sense and I did not understand its relevance until afterwards. This is what I learnt from the second tutorial:

I realised that it is very difficult to understand my personality from such a limited array of adjectives and even worse I could not recognise myself from the suspect description. I did however, find the concept of ‘identity is dependant on perspective’ very interesting and I strongly agree with it as well. In my opinion, my personality is not captured from the perspective of the suspect identification form; and my beliefs, dreams and my passions that make me who I am, are not evident from the one word answers to superficial questions. However, this suspect identification form is probably the way people who do not know me, view me. Obviously my own perspective of myself would be very different to that of others, so I think it should be interesting to judge whether my personality is truly identifiable in my blog writing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Three Things Learnt from a Journalism Tutorial by Nicole Twaddle

This week the tutorial took a different route, clearly the new term's course of blogging has them trying new things, to try and help us with our blogs. This weeks assignment was to write a personal mission statement, which will be up soon, so in the tutorial we were made to fill out a physical profile, such as what colour eyes, their shape, etc a person has. The profile was very comprehensive, however if an individual were made to fill one out about another person, or even an attacker, it would be difficult considering some of the questions were about features not normally noticed, such as neck length and shape. Features such as this are not ones that people choose to go about describing themselves or others, I therefore see it as pointless to the personal mission statement assignment, as well as this one, because although people are judged according to their physical features, on this blog it is not, because what I look like it not going to affect the quality of what I have to say.

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is what I got out of the tutorial, because people are judgemental and will do anything to fit in and conform to the norms of society. So although many of the questions were about physical features, there were some questions related to personality, such as habits, distinguishing features or where a person is mostly likely to be found. These are the questions that can tell us more about a person, such as who they are, what they like to do, how they act etc. This way a valid judgement can be made about both a person's external features, as well as some personality traits as well.

Through this tutorial I have learnt more about myself, not just how to categorize my external features, but more about my personality, and how it can vary according to what audience I am appealing to. For example, my personality description for me as a student, would be different to that of a girlfriend. There was also the realisation that I am a sensitive and reliable person, which I believe to be a true reflection, because I am sensitive, both to my own needs as well as others, and I am consistently reliable. In conclusion the tutorial was both informative and interesting, that will hopefully help with the personal mission statement.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Introduction - Watch This Space!!!

Dear readers

As you have read in our 'About Us' section (top right of this page), this blog is part of an assignment we have to complete for Journalism and Media Studies, therefore, all our posts will be based on separate tasks we have to do individually according to set questions. Most of these posts will go up once a week after editing, mostly on a Tuesday evening.

Please bear with us as we are still working on our assignments (posts), we promise that there will be content to read very soon. So please check our blog regularly, follow us and - even better - comment on our posts with arguments, discussions and any suggestions you may will be a HUGE help to us!


Thanx so much :P

Nicole, Kirst, Shavaughn and Cassy