Radio Examination: Question 2 Radio Production
In Term 2, our class was split into two sub-groups of Frequency News. I was placed in the G-Cast News podcast group where we were required to produce two 8-10 minute podcasts using Grocott’s stories as well as our own pieces in order to fill the broadcast time allocation. I created two stories for these podcasts, the first on the closure of the Old Gaol backpackers on Somerset Street and the second framing the Eastern Cape Eisteddfod. With these stories, I remained in line with my Personal Philosophy while our whole group followed the Agency document we had drawn up at the beginning of the year.

For both of these stories, I followed a community-agenda: the first took the form of a Vox-Pop where I went out onto the street to interview ordinary residents regarding their position on the closing of the historical structure, while the second instilled a sense of pride on the audience members as the story outlined the achievements of many local children participating. With the Old Goal story, I also interviewed the employees and enquired as to how the closure of their place of work would affect the livelihood of their families thus giving the story an angle which would include the majority of the audience members who also support their families with the earnings from a job which they may have had for years. I understood that I was accountable for the information I imparted through my pieces and therefore I approached each story from an objective stand-point, excluding my own opinion on each of the topics at hand. I executed my interviews from a point of view which neither supported nor went against the issues and events at hand. While my interviewees were not experts in the fields I was researching, I made sure that I included the relevant information regarding background and the relevant facts and statistics in my narration and within the cues I prepared.

After I broadcast the Old Gaol closure story on the G-Cast News podcast, if we had the chance to follow-up the story I would have investigated the ways in which the closure of the Old Gaol had affected the ex-employees. I would also have enquired as to the new jobs the Sahra development had created, thus examining the story from both angles and favouring neither party and maintaining an unbiased stand-point. The story had definite potential to develop into an ongoing story which could also have looked at what the owner, Brian Peltason, did after his business closed down. This story has many different parties involved, resulting in a journalistic piece that could have affected many individuals and organisations. The deadline on the story as well as the limited time assigned to the podcast meant that I needed to pull back from the story before I allowed it the chance to develop into something which could actually have created a stir and perhaps a difference. By this I mean, that with more time and the right audience, I may have been able to create a piece encouraging individuals to get involved in the community and perhaps start a petition opposing the closure of the Old Gaol or a clothing-drive where locals could have donated clothing to the families who’s breadwinners were to lose their jobs. A space for these employees to advertise their skills and perhaps find a new job before they lost out on a month’s income could also have been created.

A collection of news articles and podcasts which I have created.

Grocott's News Stories
Our class was required to edit stories published in the local newspaper, Grocott's Mail, in order for them to be fit for a radio news bulletin.
Story 1
The legitimacy of the local National African Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry elections are being disputed by the organisation.

The meeting was held in December and chose former Nafcoc district chariperson, Mxolisi Dyibishe, to lead the new committee which is responsible for the development of business in South Africa.

Nafcoc distrcict secretary Otto Ntshebe said that the meeting had been unprocedural and that Nafcoc officials should ignore the results as they weren’t all aware of the meeting.

The original task team’s additional member, Eric Dondashe has challenged the new leader to provide the attendance register taken at the December 22 election.

Story 2
Infighting amongst ANC Youth League members delayed the League’s convenor from visiting Grahamstown yesterday.

Youth League members were demanding that their branches be audited ahead of the election of new leaders in March.

The Youth League’s provincial chairperson, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, diffused an altercation between police and members in King William’s Town which caused the delay of a lecture celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

Qoboshiyane has said that he will step down peacefully as he has exceeded the Youth League’s age limit of 35.

Story 3
ANC Youth League provincial leader, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, has urged the party’s leaders to address the issue of the nationalisation of South African mines.

Qoboshiyane addressed the Youth League president at Noluthando Hall on the 20th anniversary celebration of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

The leader also questioned how Britain, a country he says doesn’t have gold, was able to acquire its wealth.

Qoboshiyane explained that the only way for the ANC to achieve success is by making the nationalisation debate part of the agenda for their 2012 conference.

Story 4
Members of the Congress of the People held a celebration on Saturday evening in a bid to thank the leaders for campaigning in last year’s general elections.

The singing and dancing outside of the Cope offices in Chapel street was aimed at reviving the party’s sructures in the Makana Municpality.

Cope regional secretary in the Cacadu District said that they were reviving their branches as they felt weak at last year’s polls due to the lack of permanent leadership.

Cope will hold a Local Government Summit in July as Njibane feels that the party need not wait until 2011’s local elections before they start serving the community.

Story 5
The alleged appointment of a strategic advisor to Makana Mayour, Vumile Lwana, has been infuriated the official opposition within the council.

The minutes of the meeting show that the mayoral committee approved the post last month, however the approval was not presented to the council.

Democratic Alliance chief whip, Michael Whisson says that he was led to believe that the post that was filled by Mr Lesoro was not introduced at the council meeting as would normally be the case with a new senior appointment.

Lwana has been quoted as saying that there had been no appointment as the creation of the post had been put on hold.

A group of Radio 3 students put together Podcasts with content from the local Grahamstown newspaper, Grocott's Mail.

Within the first podcast, this was the package I created:
The Old Gaol Backpackers is a historic monument, which has been host to many local and international visitors who praise its existence. After running for 13 years, it faces closure due to unresolved negotiations. The owner of the backpackers, Brian Peltason, explains where the process stands at present…

G-Cast news took to the streets of Grahamstown to find out how students, locals, and old gaol employees feel about the situation.

This is the full podcast which was created:

G-Cast News Podcast 1

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Within the second podcast, this was the package I created:
The Eastern Cape Eisteddfod has arrived in Grahamstown for the second year running. The event is being held at the 1820 Setters National Monument and sees over 6 000 children participating in areas of music, dance, drama and creative writing. Eastern Cape Eisteddfod officer, Carol Gourley, says that the festival provides children with the opportunity to improve their talent and increase their confidence levels…

G-Cast News attended the Eisteddfod and asked the participating children what they enjoyed most about the two week event…

The event invited schools for children with special needs from across the Eastern Cape to participate. This teacher explains what the Eisteddfod has done for the mentally handicapped students at the school where she works…

This is the full podcast which was created:
G-Cast News Podcast 2

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Reflection on Podcast

I feel that the story on the possible closure of the Old Gaol I produced is objective and thus meets the first standard set out by the Agency document which encourages us to commit to ethical reporting characterised by responsibility, professionalism, accuracy, fairness, thorough research and sensitivity. I sourced my information directly from Brian Peltason, the owner of the Old Gaol, and was very careful to interview an array of individuals from across Grahamstown. I included students, barmen, cleaners, competition, white women, black women, white men and black men, just to name a few.

I provided social commentary on the issue of the Old Gaol closure and identified with the problems while seeking answers from within the community. I feel that the story was engaging for listeners and by allowing community members a chance to express their feelings I allowed them to shape the news. I also acted as a facilitator by informing the ordinary citizens and equalising the playing field by making the voices of the disempowered voices (the staff at the Old Gaol) heard. I feel that the broad spectrum of interviewees blurred the divide between the township and the town and placed every resident, whether for or against the closure, on the same platform from which opinions could be aired.

I commentated on an issue which I found in the community and proceeded to seek out solutions for the ‘ordinary’ individuals and hopefully bring about a social change by airing their plight. Through this story I hoped to find those whose voices would not be heard at any higher board meetings and through their inclusion, ensure that all the parties involved realise the implications, whether positive or negative, of the closure of this historic building.

The podcast produced by G-Cast News was a well-rounded and diverse show. The stories we included adhered to the news agency document and the methods of reporting we used ensured that we were neither extreme nor made any sweeping statements. We used a diversity of sources although our story covering the strike was incomplete as we were unable to achieve audible sound from any strikers. As this story is a recurring one, our angle should have been something different from what was previously reported to keep the story fresh and the listeners interested.