Being a Journo is No Kid’s Play

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Petronnela Sibeene

IF my beloved Jorge ever comes up to me and tells me Mommy, I want to become a journalist, I will give him a hiding he will so fondly remember that he might contemplate career change one day when he is grown.

Being a reporter is no easy play. It has its joys and its downs. The only thing that keeps you going is the insanity or the lack of it in the boiler rooms. At least fellow colleagues know exactly what you go through and you find solace in that, as it makes you laugh a bit.

About Kuvee’s antics, when pressed for deadline, or the Editor’s worry when the time is approaching and no single hardcopy is at his desk. Oom Freddie’s paroxysm with the intellectual part of the paper, or at John’s gyrating dance whenever he drops another narrative, or Anna’s vanity for a piece of chicken and “a N$3.30 Coca Cola drink while drafting her court stories.

You make fun of this and that situation that landed you in hot water, or lie your teeth away, just so that the big scribe himself gives you time and more time to write the story.

What I can tell you is that we are not good at holding down marriages or relationships, because our jobs are our only union and above everything else, we are loathed and equally loved for obvious reasons.

All the things we go through to bring you a story, is a classic Harry Potter trilogy material. JK Rowling has no say on that. The countless times one has to be pushed by State securities when a visiting dignitary jets in; or that one time you had to lie that you are a student studying because you desperately needed certain registration details of a dodgy BEE company at the Trade Ministry; or the hold-on tones that get played into your ears on the phone a myriad of times. So much of it has become part of us that only counselling sessions with a psychiatrist can reverse the effects.

Or the incidents where we have been told that the food is only for guests and we should not dare touch it.

In the end the copy needs to get out and people want news, even the newsmaker himself wants to read or see his story.

Now when you hear all this, you wonder why we stay on. But no matter how hard you try, we can never repress something that you love.

The overlying point is that this is a two-way street and we need each other, right.

Of late, we have been attacked, scolded and reprimanded for reporting news.

Where objectivity or ethics has been compromised, we correct the wrong because it is only fair and natural we do that. Besides, media ethics classes have embedded that in our minds.

We are not the enemy here, nor are we saboteurs of anything, we are simply just plain old-jean-clad, sometimes not well paid reporters, who report the news as it unfolds.

And of course we know that being a journo is no easy play.

Eewa!

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