Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rhodes journalism graduate pays it forward

By Annetjie van Wynegaard

Rhodes University journalism alumnus Kgaugelo Pule returned to the institution this semester to participate in a five-day short course, known as the Essentials of Broadcast Management (EOBM), that is run by Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership. The course was held from 21 to 25 October. Pule is Head of News at Unisa Radio, where she oversees and trains the news team and division. She teaches and trains 12 students on how to compile news scripts, edit audio using various editing software and write articles for two students’ online platforms. Pule says her biggest achievement has been teaching non-journalism students radio production for Unisa Radio’s human story feature – go to for a sneak preview.

We caught up with her for a Q&A on her life, journalism future, and advice to current students.

Q: What was it like to come back to Rhodes University and be in the classroom again?

A: It really felt surreal to be back at Rhodes again. It was great touching base with a few of my friends and lecturers.

Q: How did you find the Essentials of Broadcast Management course? How has it informed your area of expertise at Unisa?

A: The course was good and I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. It has helped me tremendously because at Unisa I and my two other colleagues started the online campus radio station in 2010 with little knowledge about how well established radio stations run. So starting one from the ground was challenging as Unisa has never had a campus radio station. So we had to build in structures and policies and get students to know about their station and how they can tune in via their mobile devices.

Q: Tell us about your journey after Rhodes. How did you get to where you are today?

A: After Rhodes I went to Media24 and worked as a multimedia content producer, and then Unisa called me to start up the radio station, together with the student news agency. This journey has been roughly three-and-a-half years. During this time at Unisa I’ve gone to wear many hats – first, as internal communication officer, and then as the campus news head where I focused on training students who were studying communication science. My journey at the station has sadly ended as I’m now heading up the social media strategy at Unisa, but will very much be part of the radio station. I intend on doing my MA about the station, God willing!

Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

A: Well, as I’ve mentioned, I’d like to complete my MA and perhaps go into brand leadership or online reputation (management). I’m still young and on a journey, so wherever God opens (career paths) I’ll go.

Q: Why have you chosen this particular career path?

A: I specialised in radio in my third year, then went on to do new media as part of my fourth year, so I wanted to do anything related to radio and new media.

Q: What advice can you give to students who are studying journalism right now? Any tips of the trade you’d like to share?

A: Hmmm... Do as many internships as possible during vacation work. Those opened up many opportunities for me.

Q: In your opinion, what can journalism schools do to prepare students better for the industry?

A: Prepare them to be multi-skilled and creative so that they can wear many hats wherever they go.


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