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"You cannot kill me I am alive on everything. " V.Maluleke

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Are you using Twitter or is Twitter using you?

A reflection piece: on how I learning how to use Twitter professionally.

Twitter opens up an entire new world of brand new possibilities- and unlike Facebook which is organized across the social graph, Twitter is fully public which means that content on Twitter has a much wider reach.  However this can be awfully daunting for first time users (like me), who are unaware of the various opportunities Twitter can offer on a professional level.

Growing ones audience on Twitter can be easily done through maximum engagement for example; there was a three day symposium I attended at UCT, before the symposium I scheduled tweets on Buffer to grow an audience. I then continued to thread the events that unfolded using a hash-tag which allowed users to track down all other related tweets.

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How did I know when to schedule these tweets on Buffer? Well there’s this amazing analytical tool Hootsuite, which not only measures your follower growth but allows you to see when would be the most appropriate time to schedule a post (for any other social media platform either than Twitter) for maximum audience engagement.

Another method that I used to grow my Twitter audience was by responding or tweeting to large accounts (such as Metrofm) and using Trendsmap to filter through trending topics in my region. However I did not restrict myself to large accounts solely but also started engaging with other users under trending hash-tags.

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More so, creating lists has also made it easier for me to organize people (even those that I am not following) based on a particular niche and follow distinct conversations on Twitter.

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The above methods have not only taught me how to grow my Twitter audience but also how to tweet consistently (which I am still learning) in order to build an engagement platform for my followers.

Lastly- Do not “tweet what you like” more specifically on a professional platform, always be aware of the digital footprint you leave behind, especially on social media and most importantly find a niche and learn how to engage with users.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TapOff app: to rescue Cape Town’s water crisis

TapOff- a gamification water app that encourages Cape Town residents to post water usage

Written by Trevor

Re-purposed by Lesego Mkhize

TapOff is as free mobile app that enables Capetoenians to access real-time updates on the city’s water consumption and encourages the residents to make positive water consumption changes that will have a lasting impact. The mobile app was officially launched on the 27th of January 2018 by AUX Studio, a product design studio based in Cape Town which collaborates with established businesses and start-ups.

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Since then the app has been featured on Memeburn.com and has been highlighted in both the Google PlayStore and the AppStore as a top app in Free Education category.

How does TapOff work? 

Besides displaying the city’s overall consumption for the week, TapOff enables residents to log their own water usage and compare it with the maximum amount prescribed by city authorities. In this way, individuals see how their efforts can make a real difference to a community-wide issue.

At the moment TapOff only allows residents with City of Cape Town (CoCT) bills, to measure their per-person-per-day usage using the app calculator, and then post that result to their suburb leader board. All users are created anonymously using a unique and creative naming system, however some people have rightly pointed out that this excludes residents without a water bill.

The app goes even further to encourage participation, gamifying water-saving with suburb leaderboards where residents can display their consumption figures. “The response has been great so far,” says Trevor Swart of AUX, “with growing numbers of users posting their water usage to neighbourhood leaderboards on a monthly basis.”

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While Cape Town’s ongoing drought will certainly break at some point – and with it, the current water crisis – it’s equally certain that the amount of water available will decrease over the long term. This means residents must permanently change their water-saving behavior.

Trevor states that “Information alone doesn’t drive behavioral change…” further adding that “The key is to summarize and frame it in a way that’s meaningful for the individual.”

AUX has also produced a public an application Program Interface (API) that delivers Cape Town’s latest water statistics, in partnership with Tractor Outdoor, to create a clear emotional connection with the viewer about Cape Town’s overall water consumption.

Read related links:

Day Zero injuries have put many South Africans in hot water

Farmers desperate in face of water crisis 

Ground breaking AI investment for Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel, a leading South African law firm has decided to adopt Luminance’s artificial intelligence technology to enhance its M&A transactions.  The agreement marks another major international win for the AI platform.

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Written by  Teresa Settas repurposed by Lesego Mkhize

Webber Wentzel– a leading law firm in South Africa announced in a press release its decision to deploy Luminance’s artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance its due diligence processes for M&A transactions.

The firm which recently dominated the 17th Annual Deal Makers Awards, invested in Luminance’s AI technology based on its ability to effortlessly assist the work of its legal team by offering a faster and more comprehensive way of conducting due diligence.

What does Luminance offer?

Luminance uses advanced learning techniques from the University of Cambridge to uncover subtle contractual differences to prevent hidden risks in transactions. The company was launched in September 2016 and has over 70 customers across 18 countries.

“Our investment in Luminance comes at a time when Webber Wentzel is celebrating 150 years in business.  This investment is just another example of the constant innovation that has been at the heart of the firm’s success.” says Sally Hutton, Managing Partner at Webber Wentzel.

The firm appreciates the platforms built-in collaboration tools which enables lawyers to reduce the amount of time spent organizing workflow.

“Webber Wentzel understands the importance of innovation in the legal sector, and we are thrilled to welcome Webber Wentzel as the first South African law firm to adopt our language agnostic technology. ” added Emily Foges, CEO of Luminance.

Foges continued to state that “Luminance provides legal teams with an instant, unparalleled insight into the data room, and we’re delighted that our platform will assist Webber Wentzel’s lawyers on many of South Africa’s largest and most complex transactions.”

According to Cecilia Pienaar, Legal Project Manager at the firm, Webber Wentzel has been using a number of innovative technology solutions in order to deliver and add value to their legal services for their clients. She further adds that Machine learning technology is the company’s next step to manage growing clientele.


 

READ:

Data journalism: wait what journalists now get paid in megabytes? 

The politics of journalism 

 

 

 

 

 

The politics of journalism

Journalist often have the responsibility of disseminating information to the public, as the fourth estate and often described as the “watch dog”, the media needs to ensure that it maintains a critical level of professionalism. However, journalists are human beings since robot-journalism hasn’t reached its peak yet in South Africa, with thus said many of them have citizenship within South Africa. As per the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution, Section 19 states that “Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right – to participate in the activities of a political party” (South African Constitution, 2017).

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This is where deontology clashes with teleology, while journalists are ordinary citizens outside of their profession; their political affiliations have often created an illusion of distrust and unfair coverage within the media. The purpose of this article is to analyze the controversy surrounding South African journalist or media endorsing political parties. In order to substantiate this argument further I will employ the competing professional values in conjunction with a classical ethical framework. (The M&G Online, 2017)

As it should be known the South African media has established a self-regulatory body as a system to deal with ethical and professional lapses within the press thus being the Press Council of South Africa. According to the Press Council of South Africa; “South Africa is thus the direct opposite of countries where governments and other institutions try to exercise control over editorial content generally by seeking to punish editors and journalists for publishing stories that embarrass them, or disclose conduct that politicians, officials, business persons and others wish to keep secret” (Presscouncil.org.za, 2017).

Outside of the press council, stands a separate body which operates under similar principles but is set up for the electronic media e.g. radio or television and this is known as the Broadcast Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCASA). The BCCSA is carried out by the Press Ombudsman and Appeals Panel under the overall administrative control of the Press Council.
In a nutshell these self-regulatory bodies are instruments that regulate the media outside of government restrictions, all media entities need to adhere to the regulations stipulated by this body. The above mentioned bodies are a form of deontological approaches, which are a set of laws or rules that are codified in some text and serve as a decision making tool. As a result many media entities – be it the press or electronic media – establish their own code of ethics with many of their principles derived from the press council. The codes of ethics within each media house vary and are used on a daily basis as a guide to make ethical decisions (Mg.co.za, 2017).

South Africa has a history of journalist who often openly disclosed their parties of affiliations especially under the apartheid era. These include the likes of – Tony Heard, editor at the Cape Times who was sympathetic to the ANC and Cape Times veteran columnist, John Scott who resigned as assistant editor to stand as a Progressive Federal Party candidate in Simon’s Town (Mde, 2017).

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Image supplied by Google

While others would confidently agree the importance of journalist like those mentioned above to the public, others would identify this as an absence of objectivity. The reason why other identify this as an absence of objectivity is because journalist are the gate keepers of information and in such need to be impartial and unbiased when reporting in particular matters that pertain to politics.
One’s political beliefs or affiliations should never influence their professional space, yet this easily said than done especially because journalist without realizing at times are indirectly influenced by their person ideologies. This is where the deontological approach is put into practice; the code of ethics clearly states that journalists at all costs should avoid conflicts of interest that could negatively influence their credibility. (Wasserman, 2017)

While a set of codified rules are set out to follow them in their professional spaces, journalist do not always adhere to them, for example – Karima Brown executive editor of Independent media and fellow veteran journalists Vukani Mde attended ANC’s 103 celebrations in 2015 and posted pictures of themselves in ANC regalia. The public went into frenzy with South African citizens taking to social media to express their dismay while others simply expressed that Karima and Mde were simply exercising their political right. While section 3 of the Press council clearly states that; “The press shall not allow commercial, political, personal or other non-professional considerations to influence or slant reporting” the code that was breached according to Daily Maverick journalist Thamm (THAMM, 2017).

According to Thamm, journalists that openly express their affiliations with political parties are more likely to be biased, their opinions are already influenced by their chosen ideology and thereof endorsing their favored political party as opposed to fair coverage then becomes a difficult task. We have seen examples of this in the media with Business Day’s Peter Bruce who has no problem in publically slandering the current government or political journalist Carol Paton, who easily contextualizes power battles within political parties (McKaiser, 2017).

Another question to be asked here is what of political leaders who transition into the media for example, looking at the Sunday Times’s Gareth van Onselen, who once passionately supported the Democratic Alliance and is often faced with the challenging task of criticizing leaders of that party which in most cases unsuccessful.

Yet simply blaming journalists for their inability to be objective, is like turning a blind eye to state owned broadcasters like the SABC. Not forgetting the Gupta family who previously owned ANN7 television station but to date still owns The New Age and Independent Newspapers. South Africa has the advantage of enjoy free press but in a strictly regulated environment, this is evident in the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill), the National Key Points Act, the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill and the now-on-hold Media Appeals Tribunal resolution of the ANC. One can clearly observe how laws have been created to control media but the government still ceases control over the media by adverting to publications and media outlets. (THAMM, 2017)

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In an attempt to solve this dilemma, Kant’s categorical Imperative will be applied which simply states that “act on that maxim which you will to become a universal law”(Kant Ethics, 2017). Which translates to a deontological principle, that works in a manner whereby what is perceived as right for none situation should be accepted as right at a similar situation. Kant’s ethical framework aims to test genuine obligation by universalizing it, this way humans can make decisions based on their conscious in order to benefit the greater good.

In this case, this would mean that in such a situation whereby journalists have been granted the permission to endorse political parties such should be universal. If the SABC is allowed to endorse ANC related matters, then Karima and Mde should be granted the same right. Whether or not journalists openly disclose their political views, objectivity within the media remains diluted with what is truth and what is false.

 

Today’s menu: Nutrition

Papa and cabbage.

Papa and pilchard.

Umvubo.

Achaar, snoek and papa.

Brown bread, Rama and black tea.

Amanqina and papa.

Skop and papa.

While some might describe the list above as unhealthy, for a young girl like me growing up in a small township known as Masiphumele in the Southern Region of the Western Cape, this was my staple diet for the longest time. Pap was always had and meat was a luxury that was supplemented by canned beef or on the worst days amanqina (chicken feet).

This was back in the early 2000’s of course with the economy regaining its stability and a post-apartheid South Africa, this country was regaining its strength and so were its people. Yet fast forward to a decade later and the latter has become more prominent than ever, with South Africa’s population standing at 56,882,286,nearly half of this population is black,unemployed and living in townships.

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Image by Franko Nkopodi

While Cape Town boasts as one of the worlds seven wonders and poses as an impressive destination for tourists, nutrition remains the last of its priorities. With 38.6% of Cape Town’s overall population  black, and nearly half of this population living below the bread line, the residences within these townships learn to get by with barely the minimum. These households consists of more than 4 family members with one breadwinner- if their lucky. In the likelihood whereby there is no bread winner these households depend on government grants to get by for the month, a child grant is R350.00 per month.

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Image supplied by Google

With inflation on the rise, this is barely enough for baby formula let alone diapers for a baby. In turn these families purchase in groceries in bulk e.g 10 kg maize meal for a month, these are the things that they can afford while it might not be as nutritious as fresh fruit, pap will sustain a family mid-month when there is no money. The market industry in turn uses the disadvantage of others to profit themselves,  getting groceries from Supermarkets with ‘affordable’ prices, when you cannot afford to shop at Komati Foods.

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Image by Franko Nkopodi

There has been an attempt to redress this issue for example;  The food dialogues report, which is a representation of an initiative that seeks to promote nutrition in communities. However after reading the first few pages of the report I realized how these dialogues had a clear purpose but the setting was in correct, what good is a light hidden under a table when it needs to fill an entire room? What I mean by this is that these dialogues are being held in suburbs that most black people have no access to more so, this information then only circulates within these communities rather than going out into the actual communities that are in desperate need of help. Another issue is organisations that do come into communities in an attempt to provide assistance do not do follow ups on the newly founded projects and thus then results in a collapse.

As a journalist it is then my responsibility to ensure that I begin with my community, by educating the people on smart living and how this is possibly cheaper than they think this will be a small step in a long journey to a healthy nutrition.

 

 

NB :This is not a review on Tyler Swifts hit single ‘bad blood’

By Lesego Mkhize 

We are introduced to Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian agent who fled from Moscow to London, in order to escape the country’s security service and Vladimir Putin’s feared wrath at that time.

In the opening paragraph Will begins with what is known as the “establishing shot” in photography. Here the scene is set, the audience is lured back into a vortex of time and can perhaps imagine themselves in London during that cold season. Will’s writing is delicately detailed and constructed in such a way that the reader could possibly confuse Will, with Alexander.

The author’s style of writing begins with a climax. He does this by using diction that will evoke the reader’s attention (e.g. violently vomiting). This is the authors attempt at preparing the reader for the catastrophic events that will unfold.

Throughout the article we know Alexandra to be a Russian agent who found himself sipping on something much stronger than tea.

We feel almost instant pity towards Alexander and the pain he is faced with but shortly after his death, the veil is lifted and we are exposed to the dark side of a man we felt so much empathy toward in the beginning of the article.

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The author cleverly adds a personified nuance to each character we are introduced to. For example; even in his last days, Alexandra still wears his armor of steel withered and all we see how vengeful he is even at his death bed.

“The poison had produced a death so painful that he chewed through his own lips.”

Once again there is a continuation in the use of over dramatic and extremely descriptive diction, to convey to the reader the urgency of radioactive poising and its detrimental effects during the Russian war. Perhaps this is not the only point the author wishes to bring across, maybe in using such raw diction the author is trying to show how the agents more often than not caused their own deaths.

It is here that the blame is shifted­­- we see the widow of Alexandra, Marina as an innocent victim who was unknowingly buried into a situation beyond her own comprehension.

As the article begins to gradually shape itself out we begin to slowly understand how poison comes in more form than one and that a dead man’s story is just that- dead.

 

I AM TIRED OF CARRYING MY MOUTH AS IF IT WERE CREATED FOR SILENCE.

 

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Sometimes having a mouth does not always mean you are allowed to use it.  Or at worst you are instructed ; how, when, where and why you should use your mouth. The above is very popular especially in society if you are both black and womxn.

Perhaps this is why as a student journalist I wanted to start a blog, beyond its academic purpose. I wanted to feel like I finally have a voice, in this very loud and deaf society that only listens to hear itself speak.  Hence the title “SILENT WOMXN”, this title comes from a place of frustration and utter irritation. Especially the sympathy black womxn are welcomed with, we are either the definition of pain or promiscuity.  And this is normalized as if this is the purpose of our existence.  Black womxn are diminished to the sex between their thighs… and we are tired.

We are exhausted of having to constantly defend our existence to people who only notice our bodies and forget our names.

We know how tell OUR OWN stories.

We do exist outside of your negative connotations.We have names too!

We know how happiness feels like in our own skins and on our tongues.

We do not just make love but we are  the very definition of love!

This blog serves as a mouth piece even for those who have forgotten how to use their voices.

This is why it is important for not just student journalist to have blogs but for womxn within this field, to express their OWN opinions outside of those that have already been manufactured.

 

Nine South African Provincial capitals

Rrr-ew-land Street (The only street in Cape Town that allows you to activate a different kind of sexy just by saying it!)

 

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Roeland Street sign

 

(Rr-ew land) The trick is in perfecting the street name…

 

Step 1: Take a deep breath in. Start by slowly releasing the air through your mouth arched in a pout-like shape to pronounce the letter R … so “Rreeew”

Step 2:  For optimized pronunciation please remember to  squint your eyes into a cat-like smize, tilt your head slightly. Now that is how you activate a Roeland Street sexy!

With my guidance I will help you unlock the ultimate, seasoned element of spiciness that Roeland Street has to offer. But first we need to start at the bottom…



Imagine that Roeland is a naked canvass. Yes… comparing tar and concrete to a whole canvas,  does kind of seem careless but what I am trying to emphasize is the ability this street has to bring together a kaleidoscope of people, and still be able to cater individually for them. In essence allowing the paint to be the painter, compared to Long street that is well known solely for its night life joviality. Roeland is versatile; varying from rug stores to design art-rooms for the creatives to work their magic. Of course this is a very vague description of Roeland but hopefully throughout this post, the metaphor will be interpreted clearer.

The birth of Roeland street, begins at the bottom of Parliament where St. John’s Road and Plein Street meet. Roeland functions as the motherboard of the eastern precinct within the Cape Town CBD vicinity, stretching up all the way into Brandweer street where the Roeland Street Fire Station is located.

Personally before this, Roeland existed only for  three purposes; academia, printing and Kimberly hotel student specials (Kimberly which I will mention a latter stage) beyond that…for 365 days I probably walked around the street with blinkers. Upon realizing that the street has actual life, I was exasperated at my own arrogance and more so at how I had taken Roeland for granted.

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Statue of Louis Botha in front of the houses of Parliament

Walking up from Parliament I am greet by the statue of Louis Botha, a constant reminder of why one, I cannot afford to live on this side of the city and two this is why I  prefer  to rather take my shady shortcuts so I do not have to keep on bumping it a frozen-in-time Louis Botha. Continuing up this road, on the opposite side between St. John’s Road and Hope Street lies St. Mary’s Cathedral, mind you I have not been to church in eons so this only added to the hoarded guilt.

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St Mary’s Cathedral

Still remaining on the opposite side of the road,  lies the 12-storey Ruskins House where Sunrise Court, Formula 1 technologies and Karate Fitness Dance& Modern Hip-hop studio (for those of us with two left feet) can be found. Moving further up this road is Varsity Collage, an institution where creatives are encouraged to flourish. Shop 34, at about 5 m away from Varsity Collage is Government Motor Transport, Mae Artisan rugs which is located opposite shop 34, which probably stocks some of thee most expensive rugs. To  help you willow in your sorrow after over spending on rugs, head on over to the Craft beer and wine bottle store. If you’re not a wine person, then at about 10 meters from the bottle store is The book lounge, where I have captured a few of my own memories for a book launch.

 

Now my favourite part, food. I am a mean foodie and being constricted by a student budget has not stopped me from satisfying my taste buds,  especially when there are eateries on Roeland street that accommodate my tight budget. Firstly I have only ever walked past the Raptor Room, East City Eatery, but the aromatic flavours always remind me of how I am yet to live my best life.

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The Raptor Room
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East City Eatery

 

 

 

So I’ve resorted to Vida Café , Food lovers Market and The Design garage which is downstairs from my lecture room (also makes some of thee loveliest muffins and wraps). 

Beyond the food, another advantage Roeland street has especially for aspiring journalist like myself are many archive houses; such as South African Heritage Resources Agency and Western Cape Archives and Records Service .

For young graphic designers Roeland Square  which ism located in Wembley square, is the perfect spot to; pick up a camera, make photocopies, laminate documents and mingle with other creatives.

In conclusion. Reeew-land Street not only caters for the designers and creatives but also the historians, the writers, foodies (like myself) and much more!

 

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