Johnny Masilela, The BEAT Editor.  Photo: TK Mashaba

In this profession it’s called walking-the-knife-edge journalism


Johnny Masilela   l   Views: 70

Yuletide is beckoning just around every corner, and under every little stone.

With this in mind, we at The BEAT have started to scratch our heads as to what kind of Christmas edition we plan to put together.

Mark my words, a special edition of any kind is a mammoth task, which requires thinking ahead and analysing in what kind of mood readers would be in mid-December.

Shall people still be interested in general news at the time?

Yes, there shall (or not) be the ground-breaking ANC elective conference, which is likely to attract tremendous interest.

On our part we believe that as much as the elective conference narrative affects South Africans from all backgrounds, we are still a small player comparable to the mainstream media in this regard.

Having said that, we should be on high alert as how the story resonates with our own neighbourhood, such as which delegates from the Waterberg take their places at the conference and if possible, who they would be mandated to vote for.

And we are assigning the reporters to immediately keep their eyes open in this regard. 

Back to the planning for the Christmas edition, we have chosen to run with articles based on the year in review.

These should include, among others, a selection of our best front page headlines, highlights and lowlights, in terms of the fight against crime, and the broader sporting scene.

We are talking here about a souvenir edition which readers keep over the holidays, up until we hit the streets again in early January.

Advertisers, are you ready to take advantage?

Last weekend’s edition of The BEAT was one of those hypersensitive to compile.

The main story for the front page was that of the tense stand-off between certain interest groups with regards to tracts of land in parts of broader Bela-Bela.

The challenge in reporting and editing this kind of narrative was that there was the real potential for people to read between the lines, thus triggering uncalled for backlash from this or the other interest group.

Instead of allowing any grouping whatsoever, to level damning allegations against this or that direction, we chose to capture the middle ground, which factually was a stand-off between people.

At the time of writing this, none of the parties in conflict had come up to say our reporting was biased.

But then it is early days, and so watch this space.

A quick perusal of the other pages is a reflection of the hard work put in by the reporters.

One of those which worked for me was the story, by Mzamane Ringane, about Dikubu Primary School learners in Mookgophong, dressed up as medical doctors, magistrates, educators, security officers, and so forth.

This was an eye-opener in that this exercise gives youngsters inspiration to strive for their chosen careers.

Let me add my voice to all those who wish the matrics the best endeavours in their year-end examinations. 

Write to the Editor at or PO Box 16 Bela-Bela 0480.

2 years ago       02 November 2017