Johnny Masilela, The BEAT Editor.

Hello Private Number, and how are you?


Johnny Masilela   l   Views: 89

Newspaper reporters often work under trying circumstances.

From time to time when we publish political narrative, such as parties accusing each other of this and that, the one on the receiving end accuses the reporter of taking sides.

As the age-old saying goes; don’t kill the messenger for the message.

Having said that, as much as we tried hard to have political balance in the pages of The BEAT, from time to time we are unable to reach certain individuals because people refuse to respond to private numbers.

That is, as part of their work-related resources, reporters have access to the company’s landline services, which naturally reflect “private number” on the recipient’s mobile screen.

With this in mind, reporters have to resort to their own private mobile phones to reach a news source, often at a cost.

Whereas many people – such as the car dealer who dares “ek antwoord nie privaat nommers nie (I don’t respond to private numbers)” – our understanding of a private number, is that your most important calls come this way.

For instance, thousands of school-leavers and other job-seekers submit applications to both the private and public sector.

This means the private number you refuse to respond to, may well be a once-in-a-lifetime internship, or even a job offer. Come to think of it!

During our ongoing gathering of news last week, our reporters were at the forefront of some of the most heart-breaking stories.

Ronél van Jaarsveld from our sister publication Die Pos/The Post, and Justin Steyn from The BEAT, were dispatched to the scene of a farm attack, from which one person passed on, and the other hospitalised, after some rascals opened fire on an elderly couple.

Naturally, because she was on assignment from Die Pos/The Post, Ronél filed copy from the ground in Afrikaans, while Justin dictated his story for The BEAT in English. 

As co-anchors of the breaking story, the editors at the two newspapers worked together to capture a true reflection of what really happened, meaning the Die Pos/The Post news desk had to translate aspects of our story into Afrikaans, and we theirs into English.

Congratulations Ronél and Justin for enterprising journalism on a breaking story, which was also a tear-jerker.

The most difficult aspect of editing a weekly newspaper is that when the jail break story broke earlier in the week, daily newspapers (Daily Sun and The Star), had a field day running with the pictures of the fugitives.

But this being our story from our own neighbourhood, we strove to be even more detailed about the escape, and hope we gave you the reader, more insight into the whole drama.

Something else which caught our eye was the quality of our montage of pictures on the back page.

We had a word with our graphic design value chain, and they assured us it was something to do with the printing press, and not shabby work from the photographer.

We should be addressing this typographical glitch going forward.

2 years ago       21 September 2017