#Hashtag follow me

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Receiving an assignment for my Edit and Design class, which is part of my Journalism course, I had to gain 200 plus Twitter followers, by implementing basic strategies to gain traffic to my Twitter account, without asking people to follow me.

I gained 250 followers over the period of one month. What I did was, I started tweeting every day and every few hours as much as I can, this was a way for me to feel relevant in the Twitter community. I followed everyone back who followed me. What I loved doing was to participate in hashtag games, I noticed it was both smart and fun to do for me, because that is where I gained most of my followers.

Retweet other people’s posts, this way you attract people that has the same interests as you. Make yourself open to comment on people’s post, to get recognition and to keep you relevant. To gain more followers, you can also like people’s comments in the comment section; it makes them feel you agree with whatever they said, so they follow you back. Lastly, I made sure to participate and give opinions on whatever is trending, in your Twitter search bar.

In the beginning it was fun to share, post and retweet, but once you are hooked to Twitter, there is no turning back. I felt more informed about everything that was happening around the world, whether it was newsworthy or just something small, like someone who won a million rand for eating the hottest pepper in the world. I also felt that Twitter became very toxic, because what people say and how they react to certain things makes it harder to have your own opinion at the end of the day – a classic example of a toxic relationship with Twitter is that of the President of the USA Donald Trump, who misuse and sometimes tweet words and phrases which upset and cause chaos the world over. Nonetheless, Twitter, if using it for sole purpose it can be both toxic and fulfilling, depending on how you take it. But at the end, it was good knowing you Twitter.

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App to change water-saving behavior

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Source: IOL

Released by AUX Studio in January, TapOff is a free mobile app that not only provides Capetonians with real-time updates on the city’s water consumption, but inspires them to make positive changes that will have a lasting impact.

While Cape Town’s on going drought will certainly break at some point – and with it, the current water crisis – it’s equally certain that the amount of water available will decrease over the long term. This means residents must permanently change their water-saving behavior.

Read: Cape Town water levels

During March 2017, AUX felt like the drought and Cape Town water crisis was a great real-world problem to tackle.

Client work got in the way during the course of 2017 and the project was put on ice. Then, in November 2017, the studio decided it was still a worthwhile project and completed the first version. They officially trickled the link to social media on the 27th January. Since then the app has been featured on Memeburn.com and has also been highlighted in both the Google PlayStore and the AppStore as a top app in the Free Education category last week.

How does TapOff work?

“Information alone doesn’t drive behavioral change,” says Trevor Swart of AUX. Besides displaying the city’s overall consumption for the week, TapOff enables residents to log their own water usage and compare it with the maximum amount prescribed by city authorities. In this way, individuals see how their efforts can make a real difference to a community-wide issue.

“Information alone doesn’t drive behavioral change”

Also Read: Gamification app summarizes the latest water crisis stats for Cape Town

The app goes even further to encourage participation, gamifying water-saving with suburb leader boards where residents can display their consumption figures. So far, the response has been great, and there are already hundreds of users who have posted their water use to the Cape Town leader board. Last week an update was released so that user’s per-person-per-day calculation is more visible and people can also navigate to their suburb. All users are created anonymously using a unique and creative naming system.

Read: AUX Studios

To download go to: TapOff

 

Related Links:

TapOff: informing, motivating, and gamifying water saving

Cape Town water crisis: Residents urged to turn off toilet taps

Artificial Intelligence in position

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Art-Official Webber Wentzel and Luminance partnership

The fast-growing Artificial Intelligence platform, has been adopted by the leading South African law firm, Webber Wentzel, to enhance its due diligence processes for M&A transactions. This agreement marks another major achievement for the AI platform.

The firm, who recently dominated the 17th Annual Dealmakers Awards, winning M&A, Africa as well as BEE Legal Adviser of the Year 2017 chose to deploy Luminance due to its ability to effortlessly aid the work of its legal teams. Webber Wentzel particularly values the platform’s built-in collaboration tools which will allow its lawyers to quickly group and assign documents, track live progress, and significantly reduce the amount of time spent organizing workflow.

Legal Project Manager at Webber Wentzel’s Legal Services Centre, Celia Pienaar says the firm has been using a number of innovative technology solutions to continuously improve efficiencies and add value when they deliver their legal services to their clients. “Its unique visualise dashboard provides an immediate, holistic understanding of the data room content.  We’re excited to deploy Luminance across the firm and work with our clients to further enhance the top-tier service they have come to expect of our brand” she adds.

Luminance’s CEO, Emily Foges, says they are thrilled to have Webber Wentzel on board and adopting their language agnostic technology. She also explained how Luminance provides legal teams with an instant, unparalleled insight into the data room, and for a firm that understands the innovative legal sector, they are delighted that their platform will assist Webber Wentzel’s lawyers on many of South Africa’s largest and most complex transactions.

“Our investment in Luminance comes at a time when Webber Wentzel is celebrating 150 years in business.  This investment is just another example of the constant innovation that has been at the heart of the firm’s success,” says Sally Hutton, Managing Partner at Webber Wentzel.

Luminance uses advanced machine learning techniques from the University of Cambridge to automatically sort, cluster and classify a data room, pinpointing even subtle differences between contracts so that hidden risks can be uncovered early on in a transaction.

This article was posted in MyPressPortal

Related Links:

  1. https://www.pressportal.co.za/it-new-media-and-software/story/14584/top-african-business-names-sign-up-for-first-artificial-intelligence-expo-in-cape-town.html 
  2. http://pressoffice.itweb.co.za/webberwentzel/PressRelease.php?StoryID=276239

South African journalists or media endorsing political parties

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Source: Matters India

A US Media academic, Elizabeth Medsger once said, “Journalism is story gathering and storytelling in words and visual elements – using rational and empirical methods, on behalf of the public interest and through any means of ‘distribution’ by independent gatherers, organizers and analysers of information and ideas – rather than by representatives of special interests, like advertisers and PR practitioners.”

Journalists commit themselves to the highest standards and avoids unnecessary harm; following the utilitarianism ideology that explains how journalists should strive to make decisions that maximises the value and minimises the cost to the public by putting the interest of the public first.

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MediaMatters.org

Whenever a journalist is in conflict with something it is important to know and refer back to the basics; the ethical frameworks. The classical and meta-ethical framework helps to recognise the problem that you as journalist might feel is the right thing; the framework evaluates the problem according to the principle described; it helps with reaching and motivating a decision that they can live with and it will only benefit the journalist and the quality of their work.

 

‘As an emerging democracy that has recently undergone dramatic change in both its political system and its media; media and journalists stands as channels of communication and are the lifeblood of the democratic process. The media plays critical roles in a democracy or democratisation processes – information, analysis, social representation just to name a few. When it comes to media and politics, media usually plays the watchdog role and with that, the challenge is in relation to the media it needs a diverse, free & professional media which actualises the right to freedom of expression – a right critical when it comes to politics and political reporting.’ [Davids, T; 2016]

Journalists should have the rights that every citizen of South Africa has; freedom of expression, free to have choices and take part in elections and we sometimes forget that journalists are humans too – you are a human first before you are a journalist, but of course for a journalist there is a limit when it comes to what they let out to the public.

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Source: The First Step

As a journalist, knowing what your principles are and actually following it makes you a better journalist anyway, but having the ability to use the law as reference when reporting on a story, is a big plus. So law is used to govern the action and behaviour of the journalist and can be enforced by striking penalties.

 

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Source: thesouthafrican.com

When it comes to South African journalists or media supporting political parties, yes you can support and take part in elections and elect for the party you as journalist think is the right party to run a country, but it is necessary to not let a party or your opinion influence the way you communicate with or to your readers and these key roles are vital because the media needs to be free from all powerful forces and vested interests; ‘such as ownership, policy and regulatory constraints, the influence of funding and financing and in addition the

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Source: WIkipedia

media needs to be ethical and professional and serve the public interest, as well as being free from the  government and party control.’ [Davids, T; 2016] The code of ethics and conduct for South Africa media and print clearly states that “the media shall not allow commercial, political,personal or other non-professional considerations to influence or slant reporting. Conflicts of interest must be avoided, as well as arrangements or practices that could lead audiences to doubt the media’s independence and professionalism”.

For a journalist to play the role of information, analysis and open forum for debate and discussion, the media act as institutional aid and guide to citizens in making decision when it comes to politics. These roles are critical because it comes to a point where political journalism is not just a form of journalism as one, but it links to Ubuntu journalism where if these roles are played well citizens stand a greater chance of making choices based on knowledge rather than being influenced by blind loyalties. In Ubuntu Journalism, the journalist is not a lone wolf separate from the community but of the community and one who assesses the value of information to a community. Independence is also of critical importance where media should enjoy editorial & programming independence from vested interests of all types and be professional and ethical at the same time.

Different from watchdog liberal journalism role, in Ubuntu journalism it gets to the place that takes a greater guide dog role. The guide dog role is one which empowers people and communities to solve their own problems and with the help of journalism in the correct form, without endorsing a specific political party it can happen.

Media has developed just as quickly as South Africa has and with that Politicians have become smarter, they know that the media is the one thing that gets across citizens and influence the actions, beliefs and perceptions of the people; thus it is seen as a way to enhance their parties and campaigns or even themselves. Where media has the urge to always get the story first and fast, so this would mean both would benefit from the connection it builds at the end of the day, but in the end it still comes to a point where you have to look at what does the ethical theories, teleology or deontology say – what will the consequence be? And what is your duty as a journalist? or what does the law say about a specific situation you are in.

 

 

References

  1. Davids, T; 2016. Media and elections. Live Presentation. July 21. Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
  2. Oosthuizen, L. 2011. Media Ethics as a field of study in Media Ethics in the South African Context. Juta
  3. Oosthuizen, L. 2011. Meta-ethics as a guideline for individual conduct in Media Ethics in the South African Context. Juta
  4. Code of Ethics and Conduct for South African print and online media http://www.presscouncil.org.za/ContentPage?code=PRESSCODE accessed 9 October 2017

The reality of community food insecurities

We all know the saying that says you are what we eat. So if most of South Africans live on refined and processed foods, which is very unhealthy, then what are we?

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tophealthremedies.com

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Atlantis Shopper at refined foods section

Walking around in my community I see a need for change and that is mostly an awareness of foods, especially healthy foods and getting to the point of household food security, mainly known as food poverty. The people of my community – Atlantis, choose to be ignorant when it comes to complex problems and using money on things that seems wasteful and because healthy foods tend to be more expensive because it takes longer to process, it is fresh and comes from a place that is expensive from the beginning to the end – people turn the other side. The poor are specially exposed to the foul trend that consist of foods that has very little nutritional benefits, like maize meals, basically food that fits the pocket.

Before a solution can be enhanced, understanding what the problem is and where it exists is the first step to getting to a solution for the existing problem, like the conflict that exists between the young and the old over how income is used; poor communities that faces problems of crime and instability, as well as the feelings of separation and hopelessness that grips the youth; also people often forget how strong communities are, so they lack in building on resources a community already has – all  these that can make a change.

As a journalist, creating awareness in my community by writing about the issue – daily food columns on ‘need to know’ facts or interviews with city councillors or organisations; could bring change. Also to build connections with organisations or individuals that focuses on fostering a healthier food system in small communities, not just in the community but also bringing people from surrounding areas to train, support or participate in reaching the goal. As well as finding a way in bringing government in to support the attempt of addressing the issue, even if it is just by speaking with city councillors, it is a step forward.

Health is not about the weight you lose but about the life you gain -Food Matters

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Foodmatters.com

Organisations like FOOD MATTERS acknowledges the issue of food poverty – the causes and the impacts involved in food poverty. Food Matters also understands that effectives strategies to create change and approach the issue is mostly aimed at the short-term response. The community of Atlantis needs the kind of support that food matters offer to get to the point where the people of Atlantis wants to and chooses to make a change in which foods they consume and even if they just think about it, it is one step towards fostering a healthier and conscious food system.

 

Reference

http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/1785

 

Bad Blood through a reader’s glass

 

Will Storr

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Source: The Guardian

The award winning multi-talented Will Storr has made headlines all over the world. A Journalist, novelist and photographer who loves telling stories and his stories has featured in magazines and newspapers all over the world, like the Guardian Weekend, The Times Magazine, Marie Claire and the Sydney Morning Herald. Multiple popular books behind his name,

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Source: Goodreads

like ‘Selfie’, Will Storr Vs the Supernatural and the unpersuadable, just to name a few.

Will has won many awards that honours his writing and the type of stories he delivers, awards like the New Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year, the National Press Club award for excellence. He also won the AFM award for the Best Investigative journalism for his investigation into the kangaroo meat industry. In 2012, he was presented with both the One World Press award and the Amnesty International award for his work on sexual violence against men. He has also won the AIB Award for Best Investigative Documentary for his BBC radio series. With all his achievement and successes, he also finds the time to teach popular journalism and storytelling classes in London, at Guardian Masterclasses and The Faber Academy.

 

Bad Blood through a reader’s glass

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A biographical book that covers mystery, crime, politics, as well as a look at health and medicine; Bad Blood, written by Will Storr – a feature story based on the true life story about the mysterious life and brutal death of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.

Written by Will Storr, narrated by Ian Parkinson, who brings it to life and published by Matter, which also makes Bad Blood there sixth story published in the series of investigating the fall of the USSR and the death of Alexander Litvinenko, with a rare radiating toxic product.

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Source: BBC

Alexander Litvinenko escaped the fury of the Russian President and his feared security service. With he was free but he also knew that with the escape it would cause political conflict – consequences of a secret agent fleeing to a different country. On that chilly afternoon in November, 2006, Litvinenko was having tea with some Russian acquaintances, not knowing that a brutal toxicity fight was waiting ahead, one battle he could not survive.

kgb_badgeThe book speaks of expensive and rare poison, poison that only governments have access to, which explains a lot about how governments work; they have the power to do get and do what they want. The former Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB); the committee for state security, who was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1964 until its break up in 1991 and it is said that the KGB has supposedly killed a Russian dissident in England – Alexander Litvinenko. The way this true story is written, gives life to the actual happenings. The story makes you rethink a lot of things, like the political systems in various countries and it gives you an insight on Russia and its government.

a great example of “you die the way you live” kind of stories.

This story is written for readers who is much likely into investigative journalism, politics and find it intriguing to read about how people get murdered – a great example of “you die the way you live” kind of stories. It is also recommended for people who like to be informed about anything happening in the world, in this case the rise of the Russian Mafia and corrupt politicians all over the world.

 

 

South Africa’s Violent Legacy

On 16th June we celebrate Youth Day – one of the biggest historical events that changed South Africa.

Youth Day commemorates a protest which resulted in a wave of protests across the country known as the Soweto uprising of 1976, also recognizing the young people of South Africa and how violence played a big role in transforming the country.

The grounds of the movement in the Soweto uprising, was because of the official order that Afrikaans (seen as the language of the oppressor) be made compulsory in schools. All of these resulted in anger and hate in students and teachers, leading up to protests – violent protests.

Young people now are still experiencing violence in different forms. Young people are being denied to meet their basic needs; the #FeesMustFall movement is proof of that. Students asked for free education; they were denied, which is a form of structural violence and things got out of hand. In both movements, it was intended that it would be peaceful protests. It started off as peaceful protest rallies, until violence was needed to voice what they feel.

The result of our history and the role of violence in transforming most of our country’s history have left more of a violent legacy behind, our country cannot shake off. According to Saferspaces.org.za, violence cuts across social status at home or among friends and violence in our communities has gotten out of control. Community members are killing each other, because of the anger and bitterness that lives inside them. ‘Individuals aged 15–34 years contributed the highest percentage of assault offenders, where the motive is usually because of anger or jealousy amongst family and friends; about 35, 1% of murder incidents in urban metros and 38,2% in rural areas were perpetrated by people aged 35–54 years, all causes of jealousy and financial problems’. [Bremund, D; 2016]

Speaking to a student who lives in the Kraaifontein community where violence in all forms happens daily. She says that youngsters kill each other for drugs, money and territory and it has become unsafe for anyone trying to build a home in the community. She adds that being a young woman in her community can be hard, because of the sexual remarks you often hear from boys and it makes you afraid of not knowing what could happen after that. “For what I saw in my community is that I don’t think anyone is doing anything in my community to change the situation; all I try to do is be a positive role model to young people and the children of my community, especially my little sister, because I think my community lack that” she explained.

Our history has left us an unfortunate legacy, yes! But it does not mean the future of South Africa and its people should live with it; having a day set out for remembering the lives of the youth that fought for freedom in the past, then we already one step ahead for transformation to happen.

 

 

References

  1. Bremund, D; May 06; 2016. Saferspaces; GIZ South Africa; StatsSA: Violent crime remains high and occurs at home and among friends. http://www.saferspaces.org.za/blog/entry/statssa-violent-crime-remains-high-and-occurs-at-home-and-among-friends

Big-league Blogging

download.jpgBlogging has become a worldwide trend for citizens who loves writing, for student journalists, freelancers and even professional journalists. Blogging is a more creative and freely way of expressing your taught and opinions, that is why it is so popular amongst many writers.

People follow blogs or websites that covers their level of interests, so if you’re a specialist in your specific field blogging would be a good way of engaging with the right type of people; a platform where research for new ideas can be gained and sharing can take place. Sharing the same interests as other people, helps you built an audience for yourself.

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Most importantly, blogging is a necessity for student journalist. This is where you practice your writing, building a community of audiences and getting use to the discussions on anything happening in the world. Blogging would be your main platform to practice on and to promote yourself – making yourself known to the public and constantly writing and updating content to keep your writing and blog fresh and new, for job-seeking purposes.

“Discovery happened when I started my blog”

“Blogging would be your profile for your career started, when looking for a job.”

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Even if you are not a journalist or freelancer, blogging helps you connect with people and gives you the ability to establish your own fan base – a place where people can see your blog as a source for information on a specific topic. A place where debate and discussion can take place.

 

 

 

References:

  1. https://adamwestbrook.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/blogging-week-1-why-journalists-must-blog-and-how/

Roeland Street: Creativity and originality, lives here.

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Photo taken by Robyn Lucas

Roeland Street is where you can find anything, from designing shops to business ranging from motor vehicle services, to cafe’s that sells the best coffee, you can find.

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The street has been around since Cape Town’s earliest days. It is seen as the main gateway from the city centre onto De Waal Drive, and it is how travel bloggers describes it. This street is situated on the east side of town and starts right in front of Parliament where St. John’s Road and Plein Street meet.

Parliament is one of the most visited places in Cape Town, which makes it a perfect introduction for Roeland Street. The South African flags at the entrance to Parliament greet the locals and attract the tourist along with the statue of Louis Botha, a boer war hero during the second world war who became the first Prime Minister to the Union of South Africa.

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Roeland Street is a place of learning…

On the opposite side of the road between St. John’s Road and Hope Street lies St. Mary’s Cathedral built in 1841 and completed in 1851, which is open to go and visit. In the pictures on the right, is the two tertiary institutions, where creativity takes its roll at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and City Varsity College.

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Roeland Street is where local business owners feel at home, because this is where they are almost every day, which they never get bored of;

“something new and interesting happens here, on this street and we meet new people and hear new stories every day” says Carpenter’s Shop owner.

The Carpenter’s Shop provide food, employment, clothing, accommodation and training in carpentry, panel beating and handicraft skills.

The popular corner of Roeland Street and Buitenkant Street gives way to Kimberley Hotel. The Kimberley Hotel, more known for its genuine and typical olden day pub that was once the starting point for horse-drawn carriages leaving the mother city for Kimberley. Further on, the Kimberley Hotel and Backpackers offers 11 bedrooms, the large and famous sunset balcony.

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The last business before reaching Harrington Street on the left is Mike Hopkins Motorcycles; agent, Kawasaki and Aeon. Between Harrington and Canterbury Street on your left, stands SAHRA South African Heritage Resources Agency (021 4624502). SAHRA is an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture and is the body responsible to protect South Africa’s cultural heritage.20170328_135346

The early morning delicious smell of coffee, when you walk pass is, crossing Roeland to the right, Vida e Caffe at no.62 Roeland Street, it is one of the successful string of coffee shop franchises found throughout South Africa. Striving to capture an original and cosy feel to it, and creating their own culture. Vida e Caffe is a simple and modern take on a quick coffee pit stop. A place for chilling, working and most importantly to get great food.

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To get your perfect shot, Orms Print Room is situated at no.66 Roeland Street and specializes in professional fine art printing, décor and business print solutions, customised photo gifts, high res scanning and instagram art.O.jpg

To get a quick bite, on the opposite side of the road across Roeland Square, Fruit&Veg City is situated between Canterbury and Drury Street. Accompanied by a large parking area for a quick pop in and out, whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. F.jpg

At no.103 Roeland Street and find Harold Cressy High School, with sports fields and school buildings and situated on the right hand side of Roeland Street at no.72.

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Cape Archived

The perfect place for digging up your past, is the Western Cape records and archive services. Originally the site was where the old Roeland Street Prison used to operate, this building was constructed for the Cape Town Archives Source that moved into the new building in 1990. Access to the archives is free and after signing a register one can view archives in the reading room. The records involve maps, photographs, microfilms, books, pamphlets and official publications. The holdings consist of 33 thousand metres of archives and date back as far as 1651.

Fre.jpgFurther up the street named De Villiers only breaks out to the left, taking one to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and then finally the street ends of with the Cape Town Fire station, with a great view of Table Mountain behind it.

References:

https://robynlucas15.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/well-hello-there-roeland-street/