wsu student news agency

WSU-Student News Agency

WSU-SNA is based on a partnership between WSU, the German Development Service (DED) and the Eastern Cape Communication Forum (ECCF), which aims at bridging theory with practice. WSU-SNA assists 2nd year journalism students to gain experience in practical writing skills and a newsroom dealings. On the other hand WSU-SNA serves understaffed newsrooms of independent publishers by circulating the students’ articles.

Since 2008, 2nd year journalism students have been writing articles for WSU’s Student News Agency (SNA). The writing of articles is not part of the curricula and voluntary.

In 2009 23 students were encouraged to write articles for small independent newspapers in the Eastern Cape. They produced about 45 articles, out of which 34 articles were circulated to small local independent newspapers. Articles were published on average in about two to three different newspapers. Some articles were published in up to eight different newspapers. Feedback from newspapers has been extremely positive stating that they rely on the articles, that they provide different topics and that they are very relevant to their readers.

2nd year journalism students attend weekly editorial meetings at which WSU and DED provide assistance in finding story ideas, sourcing and writing the stories (content related). Stories are then evaluated and sub-edited before being circulated to about 30 independent publications in the Eastern Cape. Newspapers are being monitored for the publication of articles. Published articles are collected and filed.

WSU-SNA has a small office at the Department of Media Studies, consisting of six computers and a telephone line. Students are responsible for the office management.

Towards the end of the year, students together with WSU, DED and ECCF evaluate the project. The final highlight is an award function which honours three students who have displayed the most excellent journalistic skills.