Bona Retsang Community Journalism Training Course

Vuselela runs a nation-wide media education course focusing on young people between the ages of 15 and 19. The main objective of the community journalism training is to up-skill high school students and young school leavers so that they are able to use their mobile phones and/or entry-level TV production equipment to document events and issues in their communities. The project gives young South Africans an opportunity to learn storytelling skills that include writing, shooting and editing hyper-stories about their communities.

The introductory course for high school learners is broken into three parts.

The first part is about the basics of journalism and an introduction to citizen journalism. We teach them about the 5 W’s and the H, the inverted triangle and interviewing techniques. In the second part of the course, we show them how to shoot their stories using the cameras on their cell phones. They learn about lighting, framing, sound and camera movements. Finally, they are required to use the skills they have learnt to draft and record a story that is unique to their community.


Bona Retsang Community Journalism Training Course 2

The Bona Retsang Community Journalism Course

The Bona Retsang media education initiative reaches more than 100 schools across  South Africa as well as 23 Community centres in 9 provinces.

Bona Retsang Community Journalism Training Course 3

The producers of the best cell phone stories are invited to attend an intermediate course at a nearby youth community centre. For this course we use a shooting kit that includes an entry-level TV camera and basic sound equipment. We work with the participants to produce a report, a series of testimonials from the community and a public service announcement, once again focusing on the issues that affect them and their communities. They also learn how to edit their own stories using a MacBook and iMovie.


The Bona Retsang Community Journalism project reaches more than 100 high schools and 23 community centres across all nine provinces of South Africa every year (two training teams each visit three schools and one community youth centre every week during school terms).


Ongoing on-the-ground support is also provided through an association with loveLife and its Media Wise groundBreakers, a group of media-savvy youth who work in their local communities.


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(C) Vuselela Media, 2014