Talking To Strangers

Halfway through Rockbridge Report (beat reporting course) last term at Washington and Lee, Professor Kevin Finch encouraged us to do man-on-the-street interviews, a staple of TV news in which passers-by are asked to comment on anything and everything. Needless to say, this was the worst idea of the century. Man-on-the-street interviews are so painfully awkward and so incredibly unenjoyable. I tried and failed to do … Continue reading Talking To Strangers

“Triggering” Distress Among Readers

The W&L journalism group sat in on a lecture today in an honors class at the University of the Witwatersrand for members of its student newspaper, the Vuvuzela. The lecturer, Professor Franz Kruger, gave a presentation to the class on ethics. He focused on the four pillars of ethical journalism identified by the Poynter Institute in Florida, as well as a test of public interest. … Continue reading “Triggering” Distress Among Readers

A Protest Against South Africa’s Rape Culture

About 200 people gathered in the Central Block in front of the Great Hall at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on Tuesday, April 26. Students at Wits, as it is known, organized an anti-rape culture protest to stand in solidarity with the women at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The issue is one of several that have emerged … Continue reading A Protest Against South Africa’s Rape Culture

South African Rape Victims SPEAK

At Wits today, we walked into a large protest led by female students who were rallying in solidarity for the “1 in 3” women who are rape victims in South Africa. The concept is familiar to Washington and Lee University students because of the SPEAK group’s activities on the Lexington, Va., campus. But the techniques used in a central square at the University of the … Continue reading South African Rape Victims SPEAK

Diversity and Variety of Opinions

Today we witnessed firsthand some of the struggles that we’ve been reading and studying about over the past few months in preparation for this trip. Shortly after lunch we ran headlong into a student protest on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand to show solidarity with women at Rhodes University in Cape Town, where a list of sex offenders on campus was recently … Continue reading Diversity and Variety of Opinions

Trained Observers

The day took an unexpected turn when we stumbled into a student rally against rape at the University of the Witwatersrand, known as Wits, in Joburg. The issue is one of several that have emerged from the “fees must fall” movement that originally focused on rising tuition but now encompasses everything from education and poverty to women’s and gay rights. The timing couldn’t have been … Continue reading Trained Observers

#WhereAreTheMen

Rape is a global issue on college campuses. In the United States, 1 in 5 women are raped; here in South Africa, it’s 1 in 3. The issue is one of several that have emerged from the “fees must fall” movement that originally focused on rising tuition but now encompasses everything from education and poverty to women’s and gay rights. Today, I witnessed an empowering … Continue reading #WhereAreTheMen