It is vital to form a clear philosophy of what kind of journalism you want to do as this provides you with a vision to work for in terms of journalism ethics and professionalism. The following is my journalistic philosophy that I put together at the beginning of 2010.
My Journalistic Philosophy
Grahamstown was founded in 1812 by Lt Colonel John Graham as a military settlement. It is situated in the Eastern Cape and is renowned for its grand, annual National Arts Festival. Grahamstown currently consists of two large communities, Grahamstown East, which refers to the township, and Grahamstown West, which refers to the town.
I am an individual who takes great interest in communities and being of assistance in finding ways in which people can develop and improve their lives. My area of interest is grassroots level which entails giving people in disadvantaged communities a voice. This means that I will therefore need to build a relationship with as many communities as I can in Grahamstown East (such as Joza), as it seems as if they are disadvantaged because of their social backgrounds.
Being objective is always going to consist of a journalist trying to find the middle ground between stories and their personalities. The mere fact that a journalist chooses to do a particular story and also chooses to structure it in a particular manner already shows a form of subjectivity.
With my beliefs of objectivity stated, I am going to focus on stories that require the least comments from “managers of the status quo”, as this may be a way of silencing the voices of those who are from the grass root level. I am going to publish stories which affect the Grahamstown East community the most, in a professional and ethical manner. As part of learning to be part of a community as I believe a journalist should be, I am going to make an effort to learn isiXhosa in attempt to take the first step in overcoming the language barrier as I am a Tswana and poor Zulu speaker. I’ll be responsible in handling my stories with the accuracy and sensitivity.