Journalism: the good, the bad and the ugly

This was my beautiful moment of the week, the learners of Mokopane Primary School dancing on stage.

Working in the media is not always the easiest of jobs as every day is a battle not to lose hope and faith in people and the world. When you are a journalist you get a front row seat in the roller coaster called life, but it is your choice to scream or to enjoy the ride.

Every time you write an article about a life lost you grieve silently and try to write the article to the best of your ability as it is the last words most people would ever read about the person. Sometimes you struggle to sleep as the images of numerous accidents and the look in the eyes of victims who were the target of an armed robbery haunt you at night.

Another challenge is the hours as when you work in the media: 8-to-5 are only numbers.

You work until late in the evenings and you get up and the crack of dawn most of time seven days a week.

You get a glimpse of the brokenness of the world during protests as you see first-hand how people are easily persuaded to blindly follow others. However, what I find most difficult is the ungratefulness of people, the more you give, the more they want or demand.

When you make a mistake it is seen by thousands and when people are dissatisfied with your articles they will not hesitate to let you know, but they seldom say thank you.

That is some of the challenges your experience when the ‘rollercoaster’ is at a low, but when it starts to climb the ride is incredible.

On Tuesday night I was invited to Mokopane Primary School’s Revue and the moment the learners came on stage they reminded me that it is moments like these that I love my job. As a journalist you are part of the heartbeat of the town as it is your responsibility to keep the readers up to date with the latest news from who is the newly elected mayor to the glitz and glamour on the red carpet as the Gr 12’s bid farewell. I have met inspirational people and had the honour to write their stories and through my camera lens I have captured a multitude of breath taking moments.

This job has taught me valuable lessons such as never take anyone or anything for granted, appreciate life, always remember there are two sides to a story, treat others with respect and that kindness can soften even the hardest of hearts.

It is easy to become pessimistic when you are a journalist, but the good definitely overshadows the bad. My grandfather use to tell me that I should look for the beauty in each day and treasure it. My beautiful moment this week was the faces of the learners on stage as they thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. What was yours?

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Jolandi Fourie

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