I write this post just as I am about to begin my fourth and final year of study at Rhodes University. I have survived the infamous class reductions which occur after each year in the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies, and I could not be more grateful. I have one more year in the parameters of being a student to make further inroads in my Radio studies, which I intend to put to good use in my future career.
I have a Radio dream, which was aroused even more as I was doing my Radio 3 exam last year. From all my experiences in my Journalism studies last year, in both Radio and Media Studies facets, I realised what I really want to achieve as a Radio student and as a broadcaster in the future. The need to play a role in spreading the reach of news to as many people as possible, and to obtain news from as wide a range of people as possible, has been my main intention as a student journalist in the past. Now, as a semi-qualified journalist, I have upped the ante in this dream, as I dream of empowering the listener and consumer of Radio to play a greater role in the stories which are produced through radio. Coming across terms such as “public journalism” and “development journalism”, which emphasise on the need to have citizens set up the news agenda, and “developmental journalism” which involves what can be termed a collaboration between a media institution and higher authorities such as government and business, to realise the needs of citizens, I have been motivated to incorporate some of these kinds of journalisms to commercial radio stations in South Africa, to maximise the realisation of REAL concerns and opinions of citizens, and not just to report on ones which are constructed and determined by journalists.
One of my Radio mentors, an esteemed broadcaster and podcaster once said that South African radio is not as good as it should be. I agree with her, and I suggest my notion of their being numerous shows in commercial radio stations in the country, which would focus exclusively on interrogating stories which have been generated by the average citizen. An extension of this idea would be citizens generating their stories to community radio stations, and these radio stations would then distribute their stories to commercial radio stations during these shows, and the listener would then contribute by phoning in during the airing of such shows. The sponsors of the commercial radio stations would play a role in assisting with the tools citizens would use to air their stories, and they would benefit by being part of these potentially big money making programmes, and realising what citizens really need in their respective communities or individual lives, and possibly cater such needs. A little innovation in news production in South African radio could never hurt the industry, which can be better!
This is a dream which I am in the process on working on, to further strengthen it, so it can be a realisable goal. I am an individual does not believe in the power of the journalist conjuring stories which will not affect most citizens of a community. I believe in generating stories which I believe will necetate change in communities, empower citizens, and mobilise citizens, so they can have access to higher authority such as media outlets, business and government