Radio Examination: Question 2 Radio Production
My Personal Philosophy outlines an approach to journalism which was people-orientated and appealed to a wide audience. Development journalism documents conditions within a community in an effort to provide this wide audience with an understanding of the society at hand as well as encouraging people-orientated journalism. With my story about the Masihlule Project Recycling Centre, I hoped to further develop my journalistic outcomes to include community building from a grass-roots perspective. I aspired to improve the lives of these citizens of the Grahamstown community, which before the job at the Recycling Centre was considered somewhat destructive. I utilised an interview I had previously done with Angie Tompson, the project’s director, avoiding the introduction of a government official or expert and the ‘expert’ voice which often overshadows the voices of the people. I decided to focus my story on the people rather than on the project itself in order to avoid my piece becoming a climate change piece. I interviewed Eric Charles and Nosipho Manona, both employees of the project and both of whom had positive stories to share with me. I entered into Charles’ environment in order to place him at ease and soon I was able to extract stories and experiences that he wanted to share with me, not necessarily the story I wanted to extract from him to fulfil the expectations of an editor. I prepared a few basic questions regarding what his job outline entails but waited for him to explain how the project had changed his way of life and what it had helped him to achieve.
If I had the chance to develop my piece further, I would have definitely created one of two follow-up stories. I could have integrated the skills I developed in the first term regarding profiles and examined Eric Charles’ life further. This young man has many talents and is very positive about the turn his life will take due to help the Masihlule Project Recycling Centre has offered him. He supports his whole family with the income he earns at the project and through his work has developed skills which he may be able to take into a more professional and sustainable workplace. He is an inspiration to other young people and could perhaps have encouraged other young people in the Grahamstown community to empower themselves and find work and perhaps a hobby such as rugby. Through doing this, crime levels may have dropped in the area as many young people have resorted to illegal activities to support themselves and their families.
The other direction I could have gone had I been given the chance to develop the story further involves the project as a whole. I could have set up more interviews with the developer, Angie Tompson, in order to offer my audience a more comprehensive outline of what the project aims to achieve. I would perhaps have gotten the opinions of other local developers and through this, encouraged NGOs and other private organisations to get involved in creating more sustainable empowerment projects. This type of story could have been opened up on air and callers could have been allowed the opportunity to share their stories and suggestions with the rest of their community.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation contacted our department and asked us to create a development package.
Throughout South Africa poverty is a reality which has led people to embark on activities and jobs that are often unhygenic. The Masihlule Project, in Grahamstown, was born out of concern for those who scavenge through rubbish bags and gives the unemployed the opportunity to create a consistent income through recycling waste. Marcelle Liron reports…
• WHAT IS THE STORY ABOUT?
I would like to do my story on the Masihlule Project Recycling Centre in Grahamstown. My story would explain the concept of the project as well as consider those who are a part of it. My first character is Angie Thompson who is the developer. She has said that she will be available for interviews and offered me the opportunity to go to work with her next week. The other voices I would include would be one of Thompson’s employees as well as Mr Glen Cuthbert who runs Makana Glass and BottleRecyclers, a company the Masihlule Projects works in conjunction with. The story they will tell will be one of hope and will offer listeners a chance to become involved in a cause which could benefit us all in the long run.
• MOTIVATE FOR THE STORY: WHY IS IT WORTH TELLING?
This story is development journalism as it will actively motivate the audience to actively cooperate in development and will defend the interests of those involved such as the Masihlule Project. Through telling it, listeners will gain an understanding of the conditions our community is facing. This is achieved by interacting with citizens and travelling to areas that listeners do not usually venture into, in order to report back on the issues at hand. The piece will propose solutions to the problem of global warming and sustainability as well as unemployment and will encourage cooperation between citizens of this area. Important information will be spread throughout the community and citizens will be given access to the whole picture.
This is an important story as global warming is a problem which affects every human being and by offering ways for the community to get involved, the SABC’s audiences will be able to make a change within their environment. This is a topic which is on everyone’s mind and has a high news value no matter what part of South Africa one lives in. We are all affected by this global phenomenon.
• HOW WILL YOU TELL THE STORY?
I would begine the package with ambience from a day at work with the employees of the Masihlule Project including trucks, shouting and sorting. Hereafter I would ask the developer to discuss the processes she went through and then interview the employee enquiring about what the implementation of this project means to them and how their lives have changed since Thompson’s arrival. Sound elements could include the ambience previously mentioned, as well as a wild track of nature representing a healthy environment.