by Poliswa Plaatjie
My first day started off on a very bad note, I was late for the opening ceremony because I had to register then have breakfast but I must say within the few minutes that I was inside the ceremony I was able to grasp a lot of information.
I’d say that the conference is trying to remind Journalists and future Journalists that the press is not a platform to spread rumours but rather a platform for Journalists to express themselves and become the voice of the voiceless.
They are also trying to emphasise the significance of objectivity for every writer because there are three sides to every story you come across and it’s the writer’s duty to give the reader/viewer all sides of the story.
I know it’s the first day of the conference but I’ve learnt so much already from the significance role the media has played politically and how the International Media has sent the wrong message across the globe about Africa.
Africa has a lot of potential and it’s the African Media’s job to tell that story, our people shouldn’t hear about our local news on CNN or BBC instead the African voices should give the public those news.
After listening to the speakers talk about the role the media has played in Africa and how it should start to focus on how the ordinary man interprets news, I felt like yeah I’m in the right conference for real because I also want to contribute to my continent.
This conference will help me learn more about being objective as a trainee in Journalism and also overcome fear and before attending the first day of the conference I used to feel like there are certain issues I can’t address because of fear but now I’m ready to take on what ever task is being given to me.
Objectivity is very important and I think that if I’m objective enough in any story then obviously I can be the best I can be, people are no interested on the writer’s personal views in a story they want facts so that they can decide for themselves which side to take.
During the opening ceremony one of the speakers spoke about gays, lesbians and bisexuals and how they do not have a form of security in our continent and it’s true. For an example here in South Africa even though the gay and lesbian law was passed but they are still discriminated and the speaker went on to say that we should learn about different ways to tackle the gay and lesbian issues in a fair way.
I don’t want to lie before I didn’t see myself writing about any gay or lesbian related story and come to think of it how can I call myself a fearless journalists if I’ll be scared to report about the lack of security that gays and lesbians are faced with. Now really the first day of this conference has been an eye for me and I can’t wait for tomorrow.