January was crunch time for the participants of MCMI as they had to deliver four (4) each stories this month instead of the two (2) that they supplied in November and December 2016.
This was challenging for some and we had our hands full in trying to get all the stories.
In January, we introduced the participants to Municipal Money, an outstanding data tool that showcases how municipalities are spending their budgets. Participants were given training on how to use the tool and then had to deliver two stories in which they incorporated this tool.
All participants seemed to understand how to use the tool except for Bushbuckridge News. When it came to their deadline, they indicated that they did not quite understand how the tool works and could not deliver articles on time. Two members from The Write News Agency drove to their offices in Bushbuckridge and gave them more training on the tool. Whilst they were there, they also used the opportunity to take video/photo with the 360 camera and also to give the journalists training on how to structure an article.
This is a challenge we had with content that was delivered in January – not only from Bushbuckridge News but also GPS News. We also paid a visit to the GPS newsroom in Sabie during January to talk to the journalists about some elements of their stories so that they may understand what we require from them for this project.
We travelled around Sabie to take pictures and video footage with cameras and the 360 camera. It was very interesting to visit Lelievlei in Mashishing (Lydenburg) and assist GPS News with interviewing affected parties. We assisted them with tips on how to convey emotions in an article and still being objective/balanced in one’s report on a particular situation.
After the visit, we feel that everyone is definitely more up to date about deliverables and the quality of content that we expect. However, we are still mindful of the context in which they are writing for their publications and we are respectful of their individual writing styles.