As the academic year comes to an end, fraycollege Occupational Certificate Journalism students took a trip to the Daily Sun headquarters in Randburg, Johannesburg, at the start of September to see the inner workings of a mainstream publication.
Accompanied by the O.C course lead facilitator Mamaponya Motsai, the visit was an opportunity for the students to get a taste of how a working newsroom operates. “From the beginning of the course, whatever we say in theory, we always want our students to experience in practice as much as possible and this [trip] was part of that thinking,” says Motsai.
She points out that through fraycollege has its own newsroom, it is important that the students are exposed to a mainstream newsroom before they graduate.
The Daily Sun is one of the biggest daily newspapers in the country with a circulation total of 32 661 according to The Audit Bureau of Circulations statistics from April to June 2022. “We were really fortunate to have our students go there so that they see what goes into running such a publication, they can see the different roles involved in bringing about the paper,” adds Motsai noting that they engaged with editors, journalists, designers, and photographers to see how every role contributes to the paper.
“It was also a chance for them to see what they are good at and which desk they might like to end up in, in a newsroom,” she says.
Student Duncan Masiwa says the experience was exciting: “The entire team is so passionate about their work and the role they play in putting together South Africa’s largest daily paper,” he says. “There is so much that goes into getting the newspaper ready to print, every article has to get through at least six people before being published.”
One of Masiwa’s highlights was meeting some of the faces behind the articles published in the Daily Sun. “Meeting Amos Mananyetso, head of the newspaper was a treat. He was so forthcoming with his time and information – the entire team was.”
Another student Mokgethwa Methi says that learning that there are stories written for online publications and print publications stood out for her. “We got to learn that there is actually a difference between stories that are for printing and those that are for online publications even though they contain the same content,” she says.
“The biggest highlight was learning all about the history of Daily Sun as well as meeting my favourite reporters in person,” she says.
The O.C Journalism course was designed by media experts to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge. “We deal with so many other topics to prepare the journalists for the real world like governance and how governance works, ethics and media law so that the journalists understand the world that they’ll be reporting on,” says Motsai.
“The course has exposed me to all the important basics of journalism,” says Masiwa. “ I now have a better understanding of journalists’ important role in society and the responsibility that comes with it.”
Methi says that what she enjoyed the most about the O.C course “was the interactions we had with prominent people in the journalism industry and also putting all the theory to practice through going out in the field to report on stories.”
If you’re considering a career in journalism, this is the course for you. “This course touches on everything that you will need so that by the end of the year, you will be able to go into any newsroom and you’ll be able to add value immediately! Everything is designed so that you can tell stories on different platforms,” says Motsai.
Registration for 2023 is now open!