23 May, Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay: The Mandela Bay Development Agency today kicked off the last phase of media training for unemployed Helenvale youth before embarking on a journey to start the neighbourhood’s own community news publication. The training coordinated by the MBDA is a follow up and refresher initiative to the one first delivered by the Eastern Cape Communicators Forum based in Grahamstown as part of the MBDA’s Safety and Peace through Urban Upgrading (SPPU) programme funded by the KfW bank of Germany.
Addressing the enthusiastic and eager new community news publishers, MBDA Spokesperson Luvuyo Bangazi says “If you look through various search engines you will find that the whole world has something to say about Helenvale. Unfortunately we all formulate opinions, we have developed certain perceptions based on what we see, read and hear. Is it all true? Yes there is a lot of truth in there but there is another truth that is not coming out. The good news and all the positive happenings in Helenvale area are not coming through. With this last batch of training we believe that you will be empowered enough to go out there and tell your own stories”.
The media training will cover topics such as; what is community news, media values, media ethics, interviewing skills and digital media. The one day training is offered by experienced, award winning journalist and editor Ms Gill Gifford. Johannesburg based Gill moved into Public Relations from journalism works at one of the country’s most impactful agencies.
Introducing Gill, Bangazi says “She is an award-winning journalist with over 20 years of experience in print, online and broadcast media. Gill worked at The Star as a crime reporter before becoming the early morning news editor for the paper. She won the CNN African Journalist of the Year for print in 2004 and went on to win Mondi Shanduka awards for Breaking News for her coverage of the Leigh Matthews murder case. Gill was also a recipient of the Clive Menell Fellowship that offered her a short stint at Duke University in North Carolina. More recently Gill led eNCA’s coverage of the high profile Oscar Pistorius trial in a bridging role for both their online platform and TV news. Gill studied journalism at Wits and Rhodes University”
The group of ten youth are part of the larger SPUU youth dialogue group. The dialogues take place weekly, Thursdays from 5pm at the Helenvale Resource Centre. The dialogues host more than 25 youth from various voting districts who get together to discuss opportunities and avenues for the youth to support the SPUU programme.
Expressing his expectations at today’s workshop is Clifford Danster a local community volunteer at the White Door of Hope. Clifford says “I can’t wait to go out there and engage with the community in order to tell their stories. Helenvale has a lot of good news that are just not coming out”. Helenvale youth interested in being part of the dialogues must visit the Helenvale Resource Centre every Thursday. There is no membership; participation is voluntary and facilitated by experienced MBDA community facilitators.