Friday, October 30, 2009

This is it folks

Well now that the end of the fourth and final term is near, what with lectures coming to a close as of Friday and exams looming closer, it seems that this is the end for our dear blog. The start of this term looked to be pointless, what with starting a blog from scratch, monitoring it and then posting relevant assignments. I kept thinking: "what is the point?" Well, what I did not realise is that it was all actually worthwhile. By exposing us to new medias such as blogging, we were able to create our own journalistic outlet, four journalism students uniting to place their views and opinions for anyone in the world to view and comment on. This is a truly powerful form of media that is becoming more and more popular. It was therefore smart of the JMS1 course coordinator to include blogging into the syllabus, so that we 'future journalists and media workers' know this new media and can work with it.

I believe that we have put a large amount of effort into this blog, and the relevant assignments we have had to complete. We have even managed to post a few extra pieces, bring across our views and opinions. On the whole this blog has been hard work, especially when you are technologically challenged like I am. But now that it is the end, I would just like to thank Cassy, Kirst and Shavaughn (my team mates) for their hard work in making this blog something we can all be proud of. Now lets hope our marks reflect it!

Drawing to a close...

By Shavaughn Haack

As the final term of Journ 1 draws to an end this post serves as my last for cigarettesandcoffee. The assignment for this piece is to do something I have never done before. I suppose the reasoning behind this is to ignite the natural journalistic inquisitiveness and curiosity that’s inside each one of us. Sooo something I have never done before?

Bereft of ideas I started asking around and realised some things I have never done simply because I am not prepared to do so. I then decided to just try my hand at a few different things. I thought exploring would be as adventurous as I would get, so a group of friends and I went up Mountain Drive at night for a sort of picnic. It was an amazing experience, being out in the pitch black of night, it was so quiet. Nevertheless we soon got over our freezing solitude and packed up for a much warmer cup of hot chocolate indoors. Another day I had lunch on a bench outside the Grahamstown Cathedral. It was a pleasant experience as there were so many interesting people around that I wouldn’t normally come into contact with. Then in preparation for my German oral exam I spoke a lot of German to myself, something I am not prone to do. I’m not convinced it all made grammatical sense all of the time but it sure did help me in the exam. Then for a bit of random fun I put my clothes on inside-out and back-to-front. The most difficult thing about this was actually getting my clothes on and fastening buttons and zips. The banana feet brought back a feeling of nostalgia as I remember not being able to tell the difference between my left and my right shoe as a little girl.

a comic strip!

I would definitely recommend trying something you’ve never done before. Try seeing things a little differently or considering a new perspective or just to remember. I’m pretty sure it helps us appreciate life a little more.

So with this final post and in the words of the Von Trapp children “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye”

I read what I like and I like what I read

By Shavaughn Haack

Good journalism blogging isn’t as easy as you would think. You can’t just spew out anything that comes to mind and expect people to read it, a lesson that the journ 1 class have come to realise. The 2009 RU blogs are aimed at journalism students.

With so many bloggers out there, a blog should grab the attention of anyone that stumbles across the site. The goal is to attract readership any way possible but every cyber surfer is likely to have their own criteria of what makes a blog good enough to follow. I will be reviewing my fellow bloggers, Journopad. Their fun personality and colourful look to the blog is what initially attracted me. The use of pictures is adequate enough to keep the reader scrolling down.

What made this blog stand out was the sense of unity between the different members of the group. The pieces relate to each other and a collective vision is apparent. Blogging the F-Bomb was the piece that I found the most interesting and relevant to the course topic. This post is a commentary on the future of feminism in cyberspace; the unique style is something worth having a peek at. Journopad may not cover very serious topics or be particularly evocative but their writing is accessible and fun to read. Journopad has created a platform for expression of their own personal views and commentary of the world through the eyes of a journalism student. A fair effort in my opinion.

You want blunt… well here you have it!

While skimming through the blog titles that were listed for reviewing… and believe me, there were a lot of them, I came across a title that really intrigued me, “Blunt Red Pencil”. I was looking for bloggers that were pouring their thoughts and opinions onto the screen, not just looking for marks in their blog assignments. I have to say, I was not disappointed.

When first opening the page, I was a little taken aback by the lack of colour and creativity. I thought there would be more than just a black background a white heading. But again, this intrigued me into reading further. You see, these bloggers couldn’t be bothered with making their blog look ‘pretty,’ their sole purpose is to put across their ideas, questioning issues and inviting you to critically analyse what they have brought up. They successfully do this, not only through their compelling writing styles, but also by posting the blogs in bright, neon colours which compliment against the plain black background.

There seems to be a common thread of social and political issues that are addressed and in each post, the reader is probed into questioning and debating with the writer. IN conjunction with this, the bloggers are brutally honest about everything that they write. They are not scared to share their opinions which I, as a fellow journalism student, admire.

This blog deserves recognition and acclamation. I highly recommend it to any person, whether a journalism student or not, as it is a compelling read that you will actually enjoy. You will definitely be going back for more.

Oh such childish fun!

By: Nicole Twaddle

TWEET: Want to find out what fun childish activity I attempted? Then check out my blog at: #rublogs

Lying completely still allowing the suns warm rays to soak into my white skin, the stillness of nature all round me. This was what I had been craving for so long. To take sometime away from all of the work that had been piling up, and just relax and do absolutely nothing.

The botanical gardens was my place of choice, along with a group of friends, also dying to be out in the glorious summer day away from the many assignments, tutorials and studying to be done. The grass was crisp, the sun shone brightly and the gardens were in perfect condition, giving rise to the perfect day to be outside.

It was while laying in absolute stillness that madness began to take over from being cooped up in our rooms all this time, away from the sunshine and fresh air. The stress had clearly taken its toll as there was the sudden urge to try something different, something that had not been done for what felt like forever. It was time to act like children, while attempting cartwheels and handstands.

This fever began to entice the rest of the group, as soon plenty of us were attempting the childhood fun. A competition soon developed and people began to compete for the best handstand and cartwheel.

I admit that at first the childish display of cartwheels and handstands was not appealing. I was more than happy to remain on the blanket basking in the sun, however I could not contain it when I saw all of my friends engaging in a childish activity that confirmed to still give them as much joy as it did when they were mere children. I therefore had to try it. It proved to be just what I needed. I thought that just lying still in the sun was relaxation, but this simple childish activity was indeed more relaxing, the kind of outlet of stress that cannot be bought. The fun lasted for what felt like an hour, however was only 20 minutes, but it was the best 20 minutes I have spent in a very long time.

So the next time I feel stressed out and in need of relaxation away from work, I shall try something different, because it just might be the outlet I need for my stress. I enjoyed getting in touch with my childish side, because it proved that one can never be too old to try new things, or old, things.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Party like it' you're six!

By Cassy van Eeden

Tweet: cassystars Kids will be kids!!! #rublogs

This past weekend I got up to something a little different for once. When I first received my invitation to 'Piet's Big Kids 21st' I was excited, yet doubtful. Basically my friends and I were invited to our friend Pieter's 21st birthday party where we had to dress up as kids (or, more accurately, as our mother's would have dressed us). I enjoyed the theme idea and the fact that we were going to be doing something different to celebrate, but I feared this was going to be just another party involving drinking, dancing and debauchery.

I began planning my outfit, ensuring that all my primary colours clashed and that my hair was going to be fastened in the highest possible pony tail - scarily reminiscent of how my mother would have dressed me. The idea that there was going to be a jumping castle and even a blow-up pool was possibly what made me want to go through with dressing like this in the first place. I could not help but laugh at myself as I stood in front of a mirror. When I stepped outside into the happy sun at 2pm on Saturday, I was delighted to see that my friends all looked just a rediculous as I did. We admired each other's party attire and took plenty of photos before setting off to Café Blanca for the party. Make no mistake, going to the small pub on High Street was not an new experience for any of us...but the rest of the afternoon certainly was!

Upon arrival we were greeted by an enormous jumping castle/slippery slide. I fought back the sudden urge to be the first to slide down its glistening surface and headed over to claim my share of jelly babies and punch. It is truly amazing how, as soon as you're dressed like a kid, you truly 'feel like a kid again'. The tiffs over who was going to blow the bubbles first or who got the last cheese curl started almost instantly. We moaned, we whined, we giggled...and somehow, from somewhere deep inside, the younger versions of ourselves emerged.

Running around like maniacs, drenched from head-to-toe, screaming at the top of our lungs made me realise how we had all fogotten just how simple it really is to have fun. As we grow up we all buy into this arbitrary notion that we sould be doing age-appropriate things in order to be entertained, in fact, you seem weird and annoying if you're immature or childish. But none of this mattered whilst we danced about in fits of laughter and headed down the slide for the millionth time that day.

Nap time soon came around, I had to return to taking care of myself: I washed my own face, brushed my own teeth and climbed into my jammies all by myself. In doing this I realised that perhaps it is the responsibility that we are faced with now as young adults that prevents us from acting like six-year-olds again. But, I think it is really important that for once we but the seriousness of life aside, and let the little kid inside us out to play!

Scandlously Brilliant

By Cassy van Eeden

Tweet: cassystars RU Scandalously Brilliant? Know of a blog that is? My thoughts on a fellow blogging group's work: #rublog

When I first stumbled upon the ‘RU Scandalous?’ blog, I had a number of doubts as to whether or not this blog was even going to be worth reading, but I was otherwise pleasantly surprised. I have to admit that in the early stages of our blogging expedition this term, I found myself becoming rather critical of my fellow Journalism students’ blogs. However, the writers of RU Scandalous can be proud to know that they have produced a rather impressive blog with very few faults.

With a name like ‘RU Scandalous?’ I immediately assumed the worst. I expected to find a tacky presentation and the absolute bare minimum of content (our set assignments), but I was proved wrong almost immediately. I first found their layout and design most attractive, it is clear that the creators have put effort into this project. The template they have used is graphically interesting and certainly sets them apart from other blogs, and then to be greeted by a large image of the Rhodes clock tower, which I thought was most appropriate.

After browsing through their various posts I was struck by the clarity and skill found in their writing. It is obvious that they have closely followed their plan to be opinionated yet relevant and concise about their work. However, I do think that they could have nurtured their blog a little more as it lacks depth in areas such as reflection on being a Journalism student at Rhodes University. But all in all their blog is certainly worth recognition!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain...

Yesterday, during that freakishly bad weather, I decided to do something that I had always wanted to do but never quite got around to… duck diving!

I had shut myself in my room all day, missing everything but compulsory lectures and tuts to study for this pain-in-the-arse test: Linguistics. Due to my complete lack of dedication to the subject during the term, I literally had one day to teach myself the entire syllabus which so happened to be Japanese. Needless to say, when the lecturer didn’t pitch up with our tests, I was not impressed, especially considering that now I had to walk home in the pouring rain for no reason.

But then, a moment of opportunity arose when I heard someone in the crowd of disgruntled students yell “its time for duck-diving!” In case some of you are not familiar with this phrase, duck-diving consists of throwing oneself headfirst onto the rain-soaked ground in the hopes of skidding across the water as a duck would when it lands in a dam.

To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about the whole idea at first. All I could think about was the fact that I could not afford to get sick just before exams but then, before I knew it, I was dashing through the downpour, screeching as I leapt into puddles and running through the rivers pelting towards me. As we arrived at the great field, I saw that we were not alone. We were not the only students wanting to act like five year olds in the rain.

So now here I sit tissue in hand and possibly a bit drowsy due to the copious amounts of Vitamin C tablets and Med-Lemons that I have consumed. Was it worth is you may ask? Running in the rain like a little child high on sugar, mud stains in my clothes and possibly the worst cold I have ever had? Most definitely!

The Tasty Rhodents Slice of Cheese

Blog Writing Assignment 4: Review
By: Nicole Twaddle

The Rhodents Slice of Cheese is a rather interesting blog, that does not capture an audience through its overall design and blog layout, but it does generally have some terrific writing and reporting. The design of the blog is simplistic, clearly the bloggers have chosen to stick with the original blogspot designs and not source one of their own, however the general writing makes up for this fact, along with the visual imagery placed with the relevant posts.

It is clear that some members of the blog know what they are doing, and place more effort into their posts than others do. These members are clearly the partnership running the blog, as their posts out number those of the other members. They have stuck to the assignments throughout the term and even posted up some extra posts for interest sake. The language use is clear and generally easy to read, with personal flair included in each of their posts, therefore giving them individuality. This makes for an interesting read, especially the opinion pieces, as it provided the reader with an idea of who the bloggers are and precisely what these members are passionate about.

One can clearly see from this blog that all of its members are creative and opinionated, giving their own personal touch to their writing pieces, however never allowing it to become overbearing, something that any good journalist can do. The reader can therefore gain a sound knowledge of the blogs overall posting of journalism topics, stories and opinion pieces, to acquire knowledge about the life and requirements of a journalism student. I definitely look forward to reading more posts on this blog!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Negative Vibes RECEIVED

There's a poll on our profile (over there in the right-hand column) about how readers rate our blog. Recently there was a vote for the 'it sucks' option. Now I know that the whole point of a poll is for people to voice their own individul opinion, but that just seemed a bit harsh, especially after all the work that we've put into it. This blog is my baby, I put a lot of time and effort into the design and layout of the whole thing...and then we get a comment like's just kinda...well...sucky.

Anyway, we got 4 other votes that it's awesome, so not worries. Just thought I'd let everyone know that I was a little upset about that. Surely a little bit of feedback would be appropriate if you really think it's that bad.

Or was this all because someone is offended about my opinion piece? If so, let me know. I know that it is harsh, but I really feel that it needed to be said.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Anger, awareness and apologies.

Ok, so after writing that opinion piece, there are a few things I need to ge straight. What hurts me most is not that she's gone, or that I think the Dean has gone about this all in the complete wrong, it is none of that. What hurts me the most is the amount of pain she suffered before she died. In order for her to want to take her own life, she must have been hurting so much and so deeply that the thought of facing tomorrow just seemed impossible.

Although it may not have sounded so in my last post, Winnie and I were once close friends. Things may not have been that way towards the end of her life, but ultimately we were both first years in Allan Gray House. We had gone through O-Week together and bonded a great deal. She had come to me a number of times and explained how she felt down and so unhappy here at Rhodes. I encouraged her to seek help. More than that I do not feel it is right to disclose as our conversations were confidential.

By third term it seemed that her and I were having a sort of tif, I guess you could call it. We had disagreed about something so petty and had allowed our friendship to fall to pieces. I regret this so much now. But I also see that it was her way of pushing people away.

My most fond memory of her is how she would come running to me for a our daily hug, a ritual I had started with the secret intention of letting her know - everyday - that somebody was there for her. Someone cared. I cared, and I know that so many others did too. But I failed her. As her friend and as her res-mate, by allowing something so pathetic to come between us - I wasn't there for her anymore. For that, I am really ashamed.

It was so hard seeing everyone hurt so much when the initial shock hit. And her funeral was the sense that so many people were forced to say goodbye to a very special person.
I saw Vivian de Klerk (the Dean of Students) at the funeral...she was sitting in front of me. And I remember just wanting to yell at her for even being there after doing something (I believe) was very insensitive: telling the world a partial lie.

I miss you already Win. And I'm sorry, so, so sorry for the circumstances. I'm sorry that you were living in so much pain. And, mostly, I'm sorry that I was not there for you as much as I should've/could've been.

Suicide. NOT suffocation.

By Cassy van Eeden

Tweet: cassystars THE TRUTH ABOUT WINNIE MAROGA'S DEATH: #rublogs

“Ms Winnie Maroga, passed away on 19 October as a result of complications following respiratory failure” is what the Dean told the student body of Rhodes University last week. However, this statement is completely untrue, and it really angers me. Winnie Maroga is dead because she chose to take her own life, and not simply because of “respiratory failure”. I realise that some students may feel that my statement is brash and that it is not my right to disclose this information, but I think that it is critically important that everyone know the truth.

I know that I speak for a number of my fellow students when I say that sugar-coating the issue is wrong. I understand that, for ethical purposes, the Dean may have chosen to (at first) keep the facts under wraps, but is it not everybody’s right to know what really happened?! In fact, I think it may even be a helpful lesson on the kind of depression that students often have to deal with. Losing someone to natural causes presents an entirely different situation to that of suicide.

The truth is that Winnie was in so much pain that she could not bear to live another day. Yes, ultimately (and according to the doctor’s report) she died of respiratory failure, but all this was because she had taken steps to end her life and therefore impaired her lungs’ ability to function. Her body did not want to fight…she had already given up. It is a very sad situation, but keeping it a secret is pointless.

You want my opinion? Well maybe I just don't have one for you this time

Being a student of Journalism at this Rhodes University definitely has its perks, especially considering the fact that it has one of the most acclaimed journalism schools in the country. But, on the other hand studying journalism also gives you a certain ‘image’ that you need to uphold, or one that you are obliged to sustain… in every situation.

A lot of people have this idea that all journalists, whether well-established or still studying journalists, are pigheaded, nosey people whose main aim in life is to rip open any potential news ideas and exploit them for their own gain as a journalist. What they seem to forget is that not all journalists are writing to further their own careers; some journalists are writing because it is what they love to do and because they know that in this way, they can make a difference.

In the same light, a lot of people feel that journalists and journalism students have to have a strong knowledge and opinion about everything that is going on in the news or even just everyday issues that people talk about. Just because I am studying how to become a journalist doesn’t mean that every topic enthralls me into going on a tangent and making my opinion well known. Maybe, just maybe, I don’t have an opinion on absolutely everything.

So please, next time you ask one of your journalist friends for their outlook on the situation, don’t be alarmed if they snap at you and walk away. Sometimes, they just don’t want to think: They just want to listen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Future of Africa's children at stake

By Shavaughn Haack

Sipho,* a beautiful baby boy and his twin brother were brought into the world at a Johannesburg hospital. This story should inspire hope and wonder for the future. But his status proves to be a tragic twist to the story; his mother is HIV positive and Sipho* is tested as positive due to his mother’s antibodies. Sipho* is also born with his legs next to his head, a condition that is not too uncommon and is operable. Yet because of his status, doctors don’t operate and he is abandoned in the hospital by his mother. When Sipho* is subsequently retested the results show that he is in fact HIV negative. A new challenge already awaits little Sipho*, where will the funding for this operation come from now? In the mean time, Sipho’s* development is delayed. The odds are stacked against him from the start.

As a student and a future member of the working population, I see the future of our country in dire need of help. Graca Machel says that all children are vulnerable, no matter the continent or country or community into which they are born. South Africa has the most AIDS orphans; these little people should have the opportunity to one day lead our country to great things but they are crippled by mistakes, traditions and lack of education of generations before them. We, as South Africans can no longer be apathetic about the AIDS pandemic and we have a social responsibility to pave the way for a better future for our country. So get involved, you can make a difference.

Minister sidesteps Foreign Policy and cooperates with ANC

Blog Writing Assignment 3: Opinion
By: Nicole Twaddle

A lecture packed to the brim is not something that is typically seen on the Rhodes university campus, however on October, 20th, Barratt lecture theatre 1 was filled to the point that students and relevant media were forced to take positions on the floor and steps. The great turn out was for none other than Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to give her speech on South Africa’s foreign policy; the commitment and changes.

The speech started off well, diving right into the history of the department; however the Minister soon became distracted by the struggles of the ANC post and pre Apartheid. This then brewed into a plea for more people to become involved in government, something all government officials are doing now days. I felt disappointed in the speech. I had looked forward to attending the lecture to attaining some perspective from the “professionals” about South Africa’s foreign policy, and how it is being improved upon, instead she launched into a pro-ANC campaign. In amidst her ANC praising speech, she did however, work in a few phrases about South Africa becoming a united country, willing to build relationships with other countries, to become a united world.

In effect the minister did a good rendition of representing the ANC and avoiding what the ANC has in store for its foreign policy. As a spectator I was rather disappointed, and truly expected more information about the changes to the foreign policy. The Minister’s speech writers definitely did a good job of making her appear knowledgeable about what is going on in South Africa’s international relations, however at the same time avoiding the topic altogether. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you yet another typical South African leader.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hijacking murder – nothing stolen

By Shavaughn Haack
I found that browsing through internet news sites, I was bombarded with bad news. Considering South Africa’s high crime rate it’s interesting which atrocities make the news. Evidently reporters and community members are enraged that good Samaritan, Bianca Warburton was brutally murdered in Alexandra township, the very community she was helping. And with good reason, it seems to be an attempted hijacking but after she was shot, nothing was taken. Unfortunately this kind of irrational violence is not uncommon. What is interesting to me is the intense coverage of this event. My question is what makes one news event more news worthy than another?

The headline, Intern killed on way to help moms and tots, along with the photograph really grabbed my attention. The photo caught my eye because it particularly emotive: a young, happy, attractive couple who will never again meet this side of heaven. I can only imagine the sense of loss and pain that is inevitable for family. Warburton is referred to as an “angel” by The Post. The coverage evokes sad, distraught and angry reactions effectively.

The article is a contribution to the war against crime in South Africa. It is intolerable; people can’t seem to help one another without fearing for their own life. Still, the follow up reports praise the police for their swift action and three arrests. Hopefully justice will be served for the sake of the family and for our country.

Ok, we get it, Kebble was guilty!!!

By Cassy van Eeden

cassystars Ok, we get it, Kebble was guilty...can we all just move on and focus on mor important things?! My views: #rublogs

News coverage of the Bret Kebble debacle dates as far back as 2002. The scandal began when the mining mogul and former CEO of Randgold, JCI and Western Areas was charged with misappropriating over R2 billion. He died in September of 2005.

Kebble’s death remained a mystery for quite some time. However, there was suspicion right from the start that he took his own life due to the immense financial turmoil he found himself in. In recent developments, evidence has proven his death was an assisted and planned suicide, to the point where he and his business associate Glenn Agliotti even rehearsed it.

This entire situation seems totally ludicrous to me. The man has been dead for four years now, yet his case is still all the hype. Understandably it has to be fully investigated, however, in my opinion it truly is getting slightly nauseating now. Granted, it seems that he committed number felonies, but can we just come to a conclusion already?! Yesterday, 15 October 2009, there were even further developments in the case where a tell-all video recording of Agliotti was released into court possession.

Also, on a broader note, the crimes Kebble committed were of a ‘white-collar’ sort, yet this case has received an enormous amount of media attention and publicity. Yet (what are in my opinion far more serious) real cases of rape, domestic violence and murder go utterly unnoticed by the community. Is it not a bit absurd that the state is spending thousands on prosecuting this case when he, in fact, owes them an insurmountable sum? And nothing is spent on prosecuting cases that really deserve justice.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Family's second baby taken away because of poor circumstances

By: Kirsten Heilgendorff

TWEET: Should a child be ripped away from its family because the family lives in desperation? To read more, come visit my blog; Cigarettes and Coffee.

According to an article which appeared on News24, a family living in desperate conditions was torn apart after the Tshwane Metro Police along with the Christian Social Board swept in and confiscated their baby boy. The family had already suffered this ordeal nine months earlier when the same thing happened with their baby girl.

The couple, along with the grandmother, presently lives in what used to be a hospital for lepers, the Westfort Leprosarium. It is well known that people taking refuge in this dilapidated building live in dire conditions but do not have a choice in the matter. The article, “The place that God forgot” reiterates this.

I know that in theory, the police were looking out for the wellbeing of the child. It seems reasonable to find that the child will have better care in the custody of social welfare, but what about the family? I don’t think it’s okay for the family to be denied the right to children because they are in a situation where they can’t do anything else to better the life of their child.

Surely, it would make a lot more sense to work with the family in gaining their bearings and starting a new and improved life, rather than simply tearing their family apart and leaving them in desolation? I think that it is the duty of the government to manage and work with such issues, rather than simply solving them in what seems to be a quick fix.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Matie murder still under Investigation

Blog writing Assignment 2
By: Nicole Twaddle

TWEET: Opinions on the latest and shocking news at: #rublogs Come and check it out, promise you won't be disappointed!!!

Shock waves rocked through the small community of Stellenbosch, upon the discovery of the rape and murder of student Erin van Rensburg in May this year. Fortunately the killer and fellow student, Jacobus Eksteen, was captured and charged for her rape and murder.

However, recent reports account for the fact that the case has been postponed due to crucial forensic evidence unavailable at present. Therefore more evidence needs to be collected and recorded in order to build a stronger case against the accused. More to be found on the case at:

This case is of particular interest to me because Rhodes and Stellenbosch are similar sized universities, both situated in small community driven towns, therefore an act such as the one reported could have easily happened here at Rhodes. This makes me, as a female, 19 year old student, nervous, because if it happened in Stellenbosch, then it can easily happen here. The mere fact that Erin trusted Jacobus, a fellow student to help her out with her computer, says that one must be careful of the people they trust and surround themselves with. I think that all the charges laid against Eksteen are valid, and he should have to serve them all with life sentences in jail because that is what he deserves for the crimes committed against Erin. This case shows that although the system is not always perfect, or up-to-date, it is functioning and doing its best to bring this criminal to justice.

This case is a tragic one; but one that could have easily happened here at Rhodes. Erin clearly trusted the wrong person, and she paid for her mistake with her life. I urge all students, male or female, to be aware of your surroundings and the people around you, because you never know who you can truly trust.

Be on the look out for further reports on the case at: and

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No thought given to the victims of vivisection and their silent cries of terror

By: Nicole Twaddle

The Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights was kept exceptionally busy last week with awareness activities, such as t-shirt printing and many interesting guest talks. However, the most moving part of the whole experience was looking at the reactions that people had to the society. Many people stopped to look at the photographic display in Eden Grove, and one could see the reactions of horror at what these animals had to go through due to vivisection, and other such testing. The whole display was moving and enough to make anyone turn vegetarian. However, many people still did not pay any attention to the hype and awareness of animal rights ROAR wished to portray to the students.

For most students the fact that anything was even happening last week was a surprise. This is something that needs to be changed. Students and people need to be made more aware of the rights that animals possess, and how we as human beings are violating them. Animals go through the pain of vivisection for the benefit of humans and their many products, and people need to be made aware of this. Animals cannot talk, but that does not mean they cannot feel anything. It is therefore important for societies such as ROAR exist, so that they can push to make more people aware about animal rights and how they are being violated. It is important to do so, because if we (students) do not make an effort to push changes such as animal rights, then the future is not going to be a place that we all remember. Change does not happen later, it happens now. So get on board and support the cause. Make a difference guys!!!

What I Learnt in This Week's Tut

By Cassy van Eeden

This week's tutorial did not require us to prepare anything, however, there were a number of activities that we had to do during the tut itself. We began by examining our own lives and how we relate to those around us, who we are in relation to the people closest to us and those furthest from us. As part of the exercise we were required to delve into who each of these people are (from the person closest to us to the person furthest) and determine what their daily routines would be. For the people we knew, especially those we are closest to, it was an easy task to map out what their actions would be from day-to-day, because we know them so intimately. But as we moved onto people further away from us, for example lecturers and even the president, it became somewhat more diffiuclt to imagine how they would operate their lives.

To further discover how the people around us affect who we are - specifically as journalists/bloggers - we continued to examine the differences between what each of these routines look like and how the imaginary lives of these people can sometimes suprise us. It also depends on how we perceive the person as to how we would imagine their personal habits etc. It is possible to learn about someone, even if you do not know them at all, simply by knowing their daily routines. This I discovered after we partnered up and compared these individual routines.

The next task involved free-writing about something that truly enrages us. Topics such as child abuse, drunken-driving, rape and even waterbirth arose from my fellow tutling's work. We then had to summarise these pieces into one short, conscise, metaphor to express the exact feeling we had towards the topic we wrote about.

From this I learnt that pin-pointing your specific emotions towards a certain issue can often be very helpful when writing about it (especially in the case of blogging opinion pieces). It helps to determine a tone and even an overall intention of the writing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Insights into the 13th October Journalism Tutorial

By: Nicole Twaddle

TWEET: Want to know what a Journ Tut is all about? If so then go check out: #rublogs and let us know what you think...

We did not have anything to prepare for this tut, which is a norm for this terms work. However upon hearing about what we would be doing from a friend attending a Monday tut, I admit that I was dreading it. I found that determining the people closest to us, aka my mom, and the person most far away from us and out of our zone, aka Oprah, had little to do with anything journalism based. So we discovered our inner circle, very insightful indeed.

Then came the daily rituals of the various people in the circles’ layers. Now for the inner most person this was an easy feat, but when it got to the outer layer, it became a guessing game, of general things that people normally do, such as eat breakfast, go to work, etc. But I guess that this exercise gave light to the fact that the closer a person is to another, the more they will know about that other person, such as their daily rituals. In my case, I placed my mother in my innermost circle, as I know her the best, and therefore know her daily ritual.

Next was writing about the issue that we were most passionate about. I thought that this was a good exercise in freedom to write expressively about a topic or issue that as an individual feel most passionate and enraged about. It was different for each person, which is the beauty of individualism. We then had to sum up our raged, expressive paragraphs with one metaphor. One strong metaphor that could hold the feeling of anger and frustration felt about the topic or issue.

Lastly there was the punctuation of a short paragraph, which was discovered as having two contradictory meanings if punctuated correctly. This was a fun exercise in realizing the power of punctuation, and how a well punctuated piece of writing makes more impact to the audience.

Although I did find the tutorial quite pointless, there were some moments that made me realise why were doing such activities, because in journalism knowledge, powerful writing and details are great tools any good journalist possess, which is what we, as journalism and media studies students need to realise, in order for us to become great journalists.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Students do what they do best... and in this case it's not studying

Grahamstown Heritage day Celebration

a comic strip!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The shocking ROAR photographic display

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tri-Var Flashback

Take a look at this pic taken during Inter-Var 2009 :) Tell us what you think!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A bit of inspirational cheese for the aspiring journalists out there

So... it our Journ lectures, we've been learning about how our personalities and environment affect our writing. Therefore it's suffice to say that it's completely understandable when we hit a complete and utter wall because technically it's not our fault and actually completely normal!! That being said, i'd like to leave you all with what I find to be quite an inspirational and thought-provoking quote. It was given to me by a close friend of mine. It was written by an Italian author and philosopher, Calvino all the way back in 1981:

"How well I would write if I were not here! If between the white page and the writing of words and stories that take shape and disappear without anyone's ever writing them there were not interposed that uncomfortable partition which is my person! Style, taste, individual philosophy, subjectivity, cultural background, real experience, psychology, talent, tricks of the trade: all the elements that make what I write recognizable as mine seem to me a cage that restricts my possibilities. If I were only a hand, a severed hand that grasps a pen and writes..."

Happy writing!!