Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reflection on Podcast and Individual Story

I believe that my individual podcast story has met most of the aims that I have outlined in my personal philosophy as well as the agency document. I have reported the news on a factual, informative basis. In doing so, I have provided the opinions of others instead of my own. Furthermore, I have committed to the guidelines of ethical reporting. I have accepted my role as a social commentator and facilitator to inform while trying to remain fair and sensitive to the needs of the community.

I have used sources external to Rhodes campus as this was one of the aims outlined in the agency document and I wanted to report on news that was relevant to the wider Grahamstown community. I also attempted to air the voices of the minority and shed light on the injustices and repercussions of the action taken by South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) to the Old Gaol. However, I tried to balance the story by getting the views of other businesses as to why they think the Old Gaol should not stay open. I would have liked to have spoken to someone from SAHRA but unfortunately no one was available for comment. Thus, in future I hope to secure my sources beforehand in order to ensure that all the voices are given an opportunity to speak.

This story has the potential to focus on important issues which have relevance to the wider community, for example the unemployment of staff, the loss of a culturally diverse backpackers and the thoughts of surrounding businesses. In doing so, I hoped to educate individuals about the repercussions of what it would mean for the Old Gaol backpackers to close.

More broadly speaking, the podcast could improve technically by adjusting the introductory music and possibly changing it to suite the more casual style of reporting that was used by the anchor, Tom Sizeland. Also, I think all the stories need to experiment more with different sound opportunities and need to be creative in order to truly entertain the people who listen to the podcast. Thus, the package should transport listeners and make them feel as if they are in the environment in which the reporter is telling the story.

The final podcast was, however, overall a success and the group worked well together to produce good quality, newsworthy reports in a variety of different formats. This variety as well as the casual tone the group decided to use helped engage the listener. We also aimed to present stories which were specifically about Grahamstown even if they originated elsewhere. For example, Fifi Peter’s story was about the views individuals had regarding Melema’s comments and the response from the Grahamstown ANC youth League.

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