04 April, 2011

FJP starts with a bang!

The Future Journalists Programme (FJP) Autumn School started on a high note. Nineteen students from ten institutions of higher learning around South Africa converged in Grahamstown, to kick-start the 2011 FJP training. Though the theme for the Autumn School is Mobile Phones as Tools for Journalism, on this first day, students learnt of the basic fundamentals of television journalism, with the mobile-savvy-journalistic-skills to be acquired from Tuesday onwards. So, today was all about camera work, angles, sequence shots and scripting, in order to introduce television to those students who do not cover it as part of their courses in their schools.


Who said journalists aren't fun? Here at FJP land, we do things the FJP way! We got rid of the archaic introductory system, marched to the TV studio and broke our icebergs the 'TV-way'. Students paired up, with each individual interviewing their peer. FJPs then pretended to be show hosts, introducing their peers on camera, as would Oprah, Noleen and the likes!


FJP is collaborating with LoveLife in this Autumn School. FJPs will will cover stories on Sexuality in Grahamstown. As if the first icebreaker wasn't clever enough, LoveLife Programme Manager, Simphiwe Mbambani gave the group a run for its witts. Simphiwe asked each student to introduce themselves, saying their name, school, a favourite brand which they associate themselves with and its payoff line. The brands ranged from LuckyStar "Ingishaya Ngaphakathi", to BMW "Sheer Driving Pleasure". Students were then told to finish the sentence "Under my underpants" with their brand pay-off lines. What a hilarious moment it was, and I dare not mention again how some of the sentences finished! This indeed, was an interesting method to get students thinking about sexuality. They then shared their personal accounts around issues of realtionships, including acceptance, jealousy, abuse and how they have previously dealt with these.

Scripting Poetry/Spoken Word for Television

In the afternoon, students were required to write poems about the relatioships in their lives, and they presented these to the class. The idea was to write in a manner which is suitable for television broadcast. Some took longer than others to grasp this concept as they were only encountering writing for broadcasting for the first time. Working in pairs was more helpful as it is always better to get second opinion from a colleague. By end of day, the FJPs had finished their scrips, which they will then start recording tomorrow, Tuesday morning.


The day ended with a braai. Rhodes Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) Deputy Head of Department, Professor Herman Wasserman, officially welcomed the FJPs to Rhodes and to JMS. The rest of the evening braai of cause included much entertainment from Cape Peninsular University of Technology's own Bhekimpilo Dungeni steering the conversation and giving the group much laughs and an incredibly good time!

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