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Writing and editing

Stories from the classroom

A look at what the Writing and Editing 3 and 4 classes have been up to...


Writing and Editing fourth years take Franschoek by storm

Students strike a literary pose at Franschoek wine farm.

JMS4 Writing and Editing students arrived at the Franschhoek Literary Festival at the same time as the first serious cold front of winter.

This is how the writing students remember their field trip:

Auctioning off stories at hoity-toity side-walk cafés and then meandering over to the talks, clothes freckled with rain drops. – Remy

A deeply disturbing insight into the world of the rich and snobbish: one wonders how the residents of Franschhoek can live in such naïve isolation. –Sipho

A toy town hemmed in by majestic mountains and rolling vineyards, where directions always start with ‘On the corner...’ – Lynley

Road tripping in the rain to an autumnland animatedly fake: we came, we saw, we got wet, and left a little bit wiser. – Ilana

Nothing can describe the taste of a crisp chardonnay, while digesting the eclectic words of Lebo Mashile, at the petite corner cafe. – Jessica

A love of words brought us together to celebrate writing in a rainy paradise of cobblestone roads and quaint buildings, with the air smelling of beauty and books. – Celeste

Student Sarah-Jane Bradfield in conversation with author Andre Brink.

Valleys of greens and golds kept me silent in my own thoughts until my brewing inspiration had me babbling in excitement. – Kate

Surprise around every corner, in a funny town, filled with wonder, the Elephant and Barrel, I remember most, 'twas there we gave a toast ... to words. – Duncan

Ignoring the ache of cold, the squelch of water in my socks, eyes open in the wind, to mountains and mist, cottages and cheese, wine and windows, fires and chocolates and the satisfying taste of words, still binding us together. – Tammy

A faux French exterior, a warm inside; Franshhoek glistens with wine, wet and words. – Laura

 Writing and Editing


This course helps students produce well-researched and compelling news and feature journalism in a wide variety of writing styles on deadline. Students will also gain the conceptual skills necessary for the critical discussion of journalism.

3rd Year

This course helps you go beyond the simple reproduction of vocational skills and knowledge, to develop more imaginative and effective conception, research and writing approaches. You will be introduced to debates surrounding concepts of ‘communiy’ and ‘civic’ journalism which are explored more deeply during the Critical Media Production course in Term 4, and you’ll be expected to question some of the common-sense assumptions underpinning the practice of journalism. You will also e encouraged to innovate, experiment and develop alternative news values that encompass everyday problems, as well as offer a more careful examination of community interests. The course is part of a continuum that starts in JMS1 (and is as such geared towards enforcing basic news reporting and writing skills); but it’s also branches out and deepens complexity through longer features, creative non-fiction, immersion journalism and magazine style writing that is good enough to publish in local Grahamstown media.

4th Year

The writing and editing specialisation draws together and deepens all the skills you have gathered over your previous three years of studying journalism. The JMS 4-writers start the year by working in the Grocott’s Mail Newsroom with a short stint as news reporters in order to familiarise themselves with the paper and its readers, and then they will assess (with the editor and their teacher) where gaps in the paper’s coverage of this city could be enhanced by either adding different aspects of reporting or undertaking different types of journalism. They will formulate a project to supply this need and then implement it. In the second term the writers embark on targeted journalism projects with a view to publishing in other publications, and in their final term of this course they will do immersion-journalism projects in which a subject, a research method and a sustained period of time are-used to produce major piece of written work suited to a major, serious magazine. In addition to be experience of doing journalism, students will also be reflecting on and analysing this experience as well as reading and engaging with other writers work

Last Modified: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:09:27 SAST