Msindisi Fengu [msijwa]
What is your specialty? What subjects do you deal with?
I'm a journalist working at the Daily Dispatch newspaper in East London, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Currently, I'm a senior reporter specialising in education.
I joined the Dispatch in June 2009 as a general news reporter covering a wide range of issues such as education, health, politics, crime, court, hard news, human interest stories, special reports and projects.
Two years earlier, I worked for The Rep, a weekly community newspaper in Queenstown, where I had spent over two years.
At The Rep, I was part of a small editorial staff, so I covered a lot of beats from crime, court cases, politics, municipal/council stories, investigative stories, human interest stories (mainly focusing on young people's personal achievements so to inspire others), wrote an entertainment piece for the paper's Young Rep (a page dedicated to young people) and soft news, among others. I also took photographs, not only for my newspaper, but for other established newspapers in the Eastern Cape, like The Weekend Post and now defunct King William's Town community newspaper, The Mercury.
Prior working for The Rep, I had a brief spell working as an intern in the department of Marketing, Communication and Development at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
In which media do you presently work or have you worked?
I work in the print media, but we have our online team, which posts stories in the web. I'm also currently busy with an online and print project to be published soon.
While at The Rep, I did almost the same thing. I've also worked for a university in the department of Marketing, Communications and Development. Some of my works were posted on the university's website. In essence, I've atleast got a bit of both worlds. Our newspaper is also available online, you can visit www.dispatch.co.za, to view some of my stories.
Please list a web address where where one can view an example of your work.
visit...www.dispatch.co.za, www.dispatch/therep or www.wsu.ac.za. You can even just google my name Msindisi Fengu.
I've got my own blog: www.thechillzone-msijwa.blogspot.com or catch on facebook, or visit Msijwa at Plaxo.com
What is "news"?
Anything...even what is news today might not be 'old' tomorrow. So, it's really anything new and intriguing to you that's ofcourse in the public interest. I believe news is indispensable!
To you, what is objectivity?
Simply, being able to balance both sides of the story. Telling the story as it is...
What is the best headline you have ever read?
Honestly, I'ven't encountered an intriguing one yet
What headline would you like to see printed one day in the newspaper?
"Msindisi Fengu scooped the Best Investigative Journo of the Year"
Which paper do you buy on Sundays? Where do you read it?
Now that we get access to newspapers online...I normally don't spend on buying newspapers coz I get them online anyway.
Does freedom of expression end where the editorial line begins?
It's quite a 'give and take' situation...just keep within the basic boundaries and you'll be safe...
Do you feel that analytical and investigative journalism is being lost?
Oh, not at all. There are still good journos specialising in these field. I must however say due to the web...and it's instant news style, readers now spend less time on those analytical broadsheet pieces. They really don't want to spend hours reading a two-page analytical piece. But, as I said, there are still those who take time and write analytical and investigative pieces, surely there are those who have time to read them.
With a camera on every mobile phone, is every citizen becoming a correspondent?
I'd say this phenomenon has really developed. It's quite interesting to see that a 'lay' person could be able to take photos and either post them online or send to a newspaper. Citizen journalism is really wanted in these days...a lot is happening that needs to exposed.
How would you explain the boom of the tabloid press?
Sell, sell, sell...that's the main point. Business people know that news sell especially gossip...so wanna get rich...start a tabloid.
What is your position regarding the right to privacy of famous people?
You famous...then you sell. Of course, there are boundaries like stuff happening in the bedroom and that...but we really need to know about their dark sides too (for example, their drug use etc) because at the end of the day we need to better that person.
What can you teach us about the art of the interview?
The last time I jotted down questions for an interview was when I was doing my first year at tertiary. Doing research about the subject and considering other factors which affect it is a masterpiece to me. And ofcourse, considering the school of thought in which the interviewee comes from is vital too.
Please list well-known people you have interviewed.
Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) president Phathekile Holomisa, African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, Eastern Cape MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Gqobana, ANC Eastern Cape provincial spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyane, Buffalo City Executive Mayor Zukisa Faku, Former Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Recreation (DSRAC) MEC Noxolo Abrahams-Ntantiso, DSRAC Director-general, Bubele Mfenyana, Eastern Cape Health Department (ECHD) spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, ECHD Communications Director Siyanda Manana, Chris Hani District Municipality and Lukhanji municipality mayors, managers and other departmental heads, among the endless list.
Would you say the journalism blog is revolutionizing the profession?
Yes, and it's a positive phenomenon.
Will the paper press disappear?
Maybe in a thousands of coming years.
What are your thoughts of the free papers distributed in cities?
Not a bad thing either, bt unless it's uplifting disadvantaged communities then it works for me.
What is the book you would like to write?
I've got a couple lined-up, my biography, a novel based on my life's experiences and a couple of poems published in English and my mothertongue.
Is there a motto or ethical principle that clarifies your decisions in moments of confusion?
What's the way out or (a safe way out)...is what I apply in moments like these. If it happened it was meant to...it's part of lessens in life.
What advice would you give to someone who has just left university and wishes to start in the profession?
Just be yourself...never lose your set principles...and always keep in mind that you'll, from time to time, be assigned to stories that you feel are undermining your intellingence. Just keep in mind that someone has to do it.
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
www.thechillzone-msijwa.blogspot.com...or go to Msindisi at plaxo.com
What was it that made you create your blog? On what date did you start it?
A needed a space to pour out my opinions as I don't get much space in our newspaper. Both sites were started last year in December.
What blogging system have you adopted and why?
Blogger because it was my first time to blog...don't know about blogging
How many visits a day do you get? What type of comments do you receive?
None so far, I really need so inputs...in my attempts to get followers I even pasted it's address on my work columns.
How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?
Now I can communicate my thoughts without any limitations.
Have you created relationships with other bloggers or readers of your blog?
Not yet...would love to though.
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
Not everyday...I usually get sometime on Mondays as it's a slow day at work.
Does blogging bring in income for you? Can one make a living from posting?
Nope...I just do it for fun.
How do you promote your blog?
I've stated pasting its address on my column in the newspaper I work for.
How would you define your readers? Have you got a faithful audience?
Haven't received any feedback for now, but I'm hoping things will change for the better.
Are there any blogs you follow daily or regularly?
not really, I've subscribed to other sites like plaxo.com/twitter and skype.com.
How do you see your blog evolving in the future?
Receiving a lot of feedback...
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to begin a blog?
Do it knowing what u're putting yourself into.
East London-South Africa
|| ||Alejandra Albero|| |
|| ||Philip Glass|| |
|| ||Neil McCartney|| |