South Africa: to data or not to data

Image compliments of Google.com

Image compliments of Google.com

Technology and Data is slowly taking over the world it is just a matter time before it invades the whole of South Africa. As one analyses technological development in South Africa, it is quite slow, but new technological trends do eventually reach us. Now with data journalism making its way into our media industry slowly but surely. Data journalism, as explained in the previous posts about the rise of Data journalism around us, is more a computer assisted journalism. So why is it important that South Africa join in on this transformation of journalism? Maybe because we are very quick on following global trends, so why not follow it when it comes to media?
Well from as far I can see, Data journalism is actually starting to show face in our country. But according to Raymond Joseph, South African media is very slow on the uptake of data journalism and coding. He refers to a technological organisation, Code For South Africa, and he also describes their aim; “The aim of what we are doing is to promote informed decision-making and we do this by taking data and building tools that deploy it in a way that journalists and other non-tech people are able to use without having to know how to code.”, but then goes on to explain that this process in South Africa is long and a “hard slog”. Code4SA wants newsrooms to not only use data journalism with illustrations like maps and visualisations, they also want “actionable information that people can use to get a better understanding of a situation and act on”. And South Africans can learn a lot from this.
Stephen Abbott Pugh goes on to say that rest of African media should adapt onto the Technological change within media. He, this time, refers to the Code For Africa association (Code4SA is like a sub-association under Code For Africa). “Code for Africa has had great success with projects that focus on creating “actionable data” for citizens.”, like what the Code4SA is trying to do in South Africa.
So in conclusion, even though when it comes to data journalism in South Africa, it is a very slow process, but it is here and many organisations are here to make it a reality (Code4SA). Code4SA even organised winter schools in South Africa for Data journalism, this might be to speed up the process of bringing data journalism here. Attracting the youth, so that they can grow within data journalism.

Oh snap! Its Tony Gum

Myself in conversation with Tony Gum.

Myself in conversation with Tony Gum.

Hailing all the way from “kwa-Langa”, as she put it. This extraordinary 20-year-old has really got Cape Town at her feet and soon the whole world too. Today, dear reader, Paragraphicly Correct is going to introduce you to a girl who actually needs no introduction. I mean if Elle and Vogue magazine knows you, you need not introduce yourself to nobody. Tony Gum (pronounced “Goem” and not “Guhm”). A well-known visual artist and sartoralist based in Cape Town.

Born Zipho Gum, is also a Film and Video student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. When asked about why she’s “Tony Gum”, she simply replied because she loves male names. She started her fashion blog when she was about 15-years old, but she also realised that with fashion blogging comes major expenses, so instead she conceptualised. Instead of making herself just a trend-setter she rather creates images to bring across a wider and broader concept than just what she’s wearing. Fashion just helps with styling and her creativity.

Photo credit: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo credit: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

She also said that her idea of Tony Gum actually started way before the age of fifteen; “it started when I was 15 or no. It started even way back before then. I had moved from Langa, my childhood was very nice and fun in Langa. I didn’t get to see the downside of Langa. I had a lot of friends then I had to move to Pinelands which is like this ‘suburb’  that’s 5 minutes away from Langa, which is not a problem, but my friends; I couldn’t see them every day so I was bored. Got in touch with the internet, not that it was foreign, but we were blocked from a lot of things at school. So then I got to see “Look-books” and stuff like that, so I wanted to recreate that life here in South Africa as well. And that’s how I discovered a lot of things as well because I just stayed on the internet, and I was like wow there is so much more going on here. And I just wanted to create that life as well”.

Then on to receiving recognition from big publications like Elle and Vogue magazine. She is very honoured and most definitely humbled by the recognition she has been receiving from Elle and Vogue, but she would like to be recognised by more conscious publications like Dazed & Confused and The FADER, mostly because of what she represents. “Other publications that are more aware of black people, more aware of being conscious of work and being creative, not so much commercial”. She also said that Elle and Vogue are two great platforms, but she would love to work with publications that will help her in bringing her message across via her art.

In conclusion, she wants the rest of Africa to recognise her. She knows that things happen quite faster in other continents and she might want to take Tony Gum to a more global audience instead of just Africa. Ultimately she really wants Solange (Knowles) to know who she, as Solange is also one of her influences when it comes to her style.

I felt so honoured to at least have had 15 minutes of this gorgeous young woman’s time. A real inspiration, teaching one that no matter how big or small your dream is, if you put your mind to it and you really believe in what you want to do then you can make it happen. She believes in using the materials you have; do not focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you have and how you can utilise it.

You can learn more about this great artist on her blog; tonygum.blogspot.co.za. She is Tony Gum on facebook, @tony_gum on Instagram and Naairobi (@tony_gum) on twitter.

And if you didn’t know Tony Gum, now you know her.

In my own words… featuring Tony Gum.

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

Photo cred: tonygum.blogspot.com

Look who went Caitlyn Jenner on ya!

In case you can't see the difference from where you're reading from.

In case you can’t see the difference from where you’re reading from.

Hello everyone, don’t worry it’s still me. And if you’re worrying about whom “me” is, it’s JD, and if you haven’t noticed Paragraphicly Correct has gotten a face-lift. I have decided to try something new with my blog so that it can be a reflection of yours truly.

My previous theme seemed like a bore if I do say so myself, content aside. I mean the content I produced on there was quite beautiful (blowing my own horn much), but when I looked at the presentation it still didn’t look like Jaye-Dee Jansen. I had an 80’s themed header that looked quite exciting, but that’s where it stopped at the header. Going down you’d find the title of my next piece, the content and then a little picture to maybe excite your mind after reading a 400-700 words piece. Honestly speaking I would have slept a long time ago.

But (drum-roll…), look at me now. I have background pictures now (featuring me). I have a mustard background for my content, tweeked my font a little and lastly my blog name, Paragraphicly Correct, and my tagline, “in my own words…”, is a little smaller and orange.

I feel that this make-over was long overdue, so please where ever you find your yourself reading now, raise that cellphone, tablet, laptop, computer (not so much) etc, this is to the new better looking and an improved Paragraphicly Correct.

Do note that this is a very short piece just talking about my blog’s face-lift.

In my own words…

Open Journalism Matters

Image compliments of Google.com

Image compliments of Google.com

Open Journalism has been on the rise for many years. As new social media platforms are being opened so are job opportunities for certain people who feel they want their “say” to be put out there. Open journalism is close to citizen journalism whereas the ordinary citizen, who also does not have the certain “paper qualifications”, has a chance to have their opinion heard whether it be by SMS, a comment section online or by writing letters to the editor. With open journalism “There are no style guides to be read, no editors to be consulted, no rules to be followed.” Today’s piece will discuss how News24 and other news organisations that limit comments on articles and other forms of UGC inhibit the potential for ‘open journalism’.

“Creating relevant and engaging content, gathering and amplifying citizen voices and Opening up innovative news sources” these are all the things open journalism brings about; it sparks interest and engagement amongst readers. It makes the reader feel important and that their opinions actually count for something. Another source of open journalism not only lays in comments for articles but also on the social media platforms as said by Dunja Mijatovic on a blog post; “Open Journalism is an appropriate catch-all for these new sources”. So all won’t be forlorn, for one can just share the article on twitter or Facebook and spark some conversation around it via a comment by your friends or followers. So maybe one can still tell these organisations limiting comments that they may limit their comment section as there are other ways of letting one’s concerns be known, but this still leaves their transparency in question.

Open journalism is very much needed in the society one finds oneself in today. A society that wants to keep important information private and secluded, and journalism and secluding information would never work. “Journalism in a sense is a mechanism for transferring power to people who are in the dark”, said by Melanie Sill.

Well, to me these news organisations that limit comments on articles are really limiting the potential on open journalism. Open journalism has the potential to create a story within a story. Open and Journalism are actually two complimentary terms as open means to be honest, transparent, truthful etc. these terms are equivalent to what journalism should also stand for. To be transparent, open and truthful at all times. So limiting comments on articles could take strain on open journalism and limit transparency and truthfulness.