In session two of the Sinelizwi citizen journalism programme, host and games master Duncan Masiwa shares with candidates some insights on what news is, ways to source news and how aspiring citizen journos can identify a newsworthy story.

“News is factual reporting on an event that is meant to inform people (your community). It is considered valuable information that is significant and interesting,” he says.

Editor of Food For Mzansi, Dawn Noemdoe, also joins this session to share tips on how candidates can spot news happening in their town and finding topics that interest them.

Dawn shares how to be more aware of what’s happening in your community:

  • Visit the local government office, attend committee meetings, attend cultural meetings to find out what is happening in terms of finance, infrastructure, plans and projects in the community.
  • Speak to local residents about the issues that affect them, find out what they want to talk about.
  • Become an active citizen. Keep your eyes and ears on the ground and build up contacts in your community that can inform you if something newsworthy happens.

Tip of the week:  Pick your beat

Write about something you’re interested in and familiar with. This could be anything or anyone. For example, cover local agricultural events or government, or even topics like public education, the arts, local restaurants, sports, music. The most important thing is that you care about it. Rather than covering specific events or government entities, you could interview community members, like the leaders of the local non-profits, small business owners or residents. Being able to share their stories will help bring the community together and educate people on the community’s needs.

Learn more about this week’s session here or visit the Sinelizwi site.