Dispatches from a Masters course - Media institutions and role models: a constructivist intervention in African communitarianismSubmitted by paul on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 11:13.
While it is revealing to situate communitarianism in its global and historic context, and I’ll briefly look at these contexts, the focus of this blog is on African communitarianism, specifically that subsumed under the title ‘ubuntu’. I do this as a methodological abstraction, to bring into play a constructivist tactic in the influence of communitarianism’s specific instance in especially Southern Africa.
A sadly predictable series of events:
(a) tornado devastates homes;
(b) state delivers aid in the form of iron kits for temporary houses;
(c) four months later, the victims remain without homes because the structures have not been assembled.
In this sketch of the facts, are basic narratives that are all too familiar to South African readers:
- Disasters strike. Shit happens. Nature is to blame. (Of course, if the people affected had decent homes, rather than shacks, they wouldn’t have lost their shelter in the first place).
For those prepared to listen, it was a mini-lecture on monetary policy. And more entertaining than lectures on monetary policy tend to be.
The occasion was the Press Conference the Reserve Bank governor gives to explain the reasons for decision of the committee that decides on interest rate policy.
Tito Mboweni was explaining, on Thursday December 12, why the committee had decided on a half a percentage point interest rate cut in the Reserve Bank's influential interest rate, the repo rate, to 11.5%.
Journalists should know about metadata - but it's a long shot to intrude in busy lives with short-span focus on immediate story turnaround. So, that puts a lot of onus on journalism students to learn some of the secrets to visibility and meaning on the WWW. I've given this presentation to students twice now, as an intro to the subject. It's a beginner's guide because I'm a beginner here myself - albeit posing as one-eyed king - or rather evangelist in a kingdom where all of us are pretty ignorant.
Most business editors in South Africa probably regard themselves as eminently practical people. So it's no surprise that a recent survey of business editors found them emphasising the practical aspect of the further education of journalists.