The new new new journalism?

11 Mar

Apologies for the delay.

Look – I exist, and am alive and well (albeit extremely pale)!


The reason I haven’t updated in some time is that I’ve spent the last 6 weeks working on and updating other websites (yes, they exist!), and after several hours of doing that every day, the last thing you want to do is come home and spend another hour thinking of something clever enough to say about what you’ve been doing – which, at the end of the day, is not too interesting to most people anyway.

Hmm – what do I mean by that?

Web designers and other new media gurus (more sophisticated than I) will probably understand.

When you look at a website, you are only seeing the end product of months and months of hard labor in front of a computer screen, meticulous copy editing, code writing, design and content creation. I realized this at Flow, but there I was only involved in one or two parts of the process. At Columbia you’re often involved in all parts (well, if you are a new media student, or if you are a crazy print student like me and volunteer).

Even if you are a print student, you’re expected to have what’s called a “new media mindset” (Dean Sree is crazy about this) – part of which is understanding that you cannot exist as a journalist these days without having a reasonably good understanding of how the web works, and you’re comfortable working with it.

Web work can sometimes require a deep, and somewhat irrational, commitment to tiny details. Searching for <div> tags that throw out a WordPress theme; the search for errant code in a Dreamweaver design or on the back-end of a CMS that sees you staring at the computer looking manic, not even responding to offers of coffee; adjusting colors and pixels in a Photoshop image, monitoring and responding to comments; the list goes on! And I’m not even a new media student. No wonder they all look half crazed. (Kinda like Richard at Flow…)

The point is that I do enjoy it – and that’s because I am detail-obsessed. I was realizing this while applying for the HuffPo internship. I LOVE details. I believe that life is in the details, and so I don’t really mind working with them, as long as every now and again I can log off to watch an episode of Gossip Girl (yes, yes, OKAY).

Tara – if you’re reading this, THANK YOU for your online media course. You have no idea how much I needed everything you taught us at Columbia!!

The fruits of my labor have not yet come to full fruition (!) but you can more or less see what I’ve been doing:

Designing, after a few hours of Dreamweaver, my own website, and putting it up with Justin’s help – yay!


Working on the website for our magazine on digital trends (Mag.Net) which is currently locked (we have to clean it up) and helping with the design of the mag (yay for InDesign skills learnt at the Vuvuzela!)

The mag’s URL will be revealed in 2 months when it looks amazing!!

Working on the website for our International Newsroom class which needs to be spiffed up a bit and updated. I quite like the map – something I discovered as a widget and thought would suit the Media Reports.


I also had fun in the last two month designing posters on Photoshop for Women’s International Leadership week at I-House with Zee – the week went really well and lots of people attended the events, which was great.



I’m still reporting – and oh, how much of it! I’m working on the last bits of my Master’s Project (due on March 23), a story on the movement of traditional art online (interviews with the Frick and MoMA curators, a gallery down in Chelsea and for an artist’s perspective, Zee), a profile for the
Women’s eNews New Writer’s Program on a political blogger in Cleaveland (hello, first webcam interview), a report on Liberian media (for a fantastic photographs from Liberia and Uganda, visit or read her kick-ass blog Scarlett Lion) …

And (takes a deep breath)

Weekly assignments for opinion writing (a TRC for the States? Women’s Rights in America? Gaddaffi as head of the A.U? Voting rights for South Africans abroad? etc), attending events (Pulitzer Prize judges panel, lunch at CPJ for intrepid Mexican journalist, Magazine career fair, WIL events each evening, weekly Delacorte lectures), filling out my OPT application, applying for internships, meeting friends, trying to be a human being, trying not to panic, etc.

And that’s why I haven’t updated the blog in ages! I’ll try to be better from now on (she says, looking at the sky with an innocent expression …) Miss you all so much. Leave a comment!!



7 Responses to “The new new new journalism?”

  1. Tara March 12, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks for the update, Jax. I’m very impressed with your new-found skills! Take care and lots of love,

  2. Richard March 12, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    haha. Jackie when are you coming back; we need some more geeks around here.

  3. Tiffany March 12, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    don’t let RR turn you into a geek – we just need you back full stop! miss you too and thanks for catching us up on your news.

  4. SCORPIO March 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm #


  5. jax March 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    Dad, you’re such a weirdo!!

  6. Michelle Ireland March 13, 2009 at 6:51 pm #


    So good to hear about what you are doing. Is it possible for a human being to accomplish so much in such a short space of time? And still stay human.
    Now talking about attention to detail please remember you are still a Saffer and therefore you must say labour and not labor

    PS The Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that South Africans abroad can vote if you want to know how just ask me: )

    Love Shell

  7. Miliswa March 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Wow u sound hectic Jax…miss ya good luck with everything .


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