We have decided to reflect on some of the groundbreaking articles published in the first season of The Open Journal’s existence, from last year September until to this year’s September.
In our first season, we have published 130 articles, and now we present the top 10 articles from the 130 pieces. I must confess, it was not so simple to decide which one will go to the selection.
The Open Journal is more than just a students’ media platform; it is a medium ensuring authentic storytelling from a student perspective. We are proud of the opportunities we have created from nowhere. October marks The Open Journal’s remarkable period as we are embarking on another season and so we wish to make more impact on people’s lives as seemingly as it has been.
Our top story in such a paramount category is the brutal killing of Kelvin Baloyi. The Open Journal was the only media outlet that understood and had graphic images of what really occurred before Baloyi was gunned down.
“Bouncers Have Done a Great Job at DFC” is the second story that was crafted by Onthatile Kgoadigoadi, which makes us as The Open Journal proud of our journalists. We, moreover, are proud to be the first media outlet in South Africa to interview UJ’s infamous bouncers. This shows our commitment towards a balanced form of journalism.
The third position is not occupied by a single story, but series of investigative stories about a building in Westdene called 10 A. Our Copy Editor Xiletelo Mabasa made this investigation possible while working with Onthatile Kgoadigoadi. Working with the Wykes Foundation which is trying to help the children living at 10A, we have exposed 10A as an unlivable place in which human wastes could be found all over.
Our 4th story is an investigative piece about the former UJ SRC President Onwabile Lubhelwana that he may have been influenced by high-ranking ANC officials to stop the Fees Must Fall last year, and he allegedly did. Our Copy Editor, Gaby Ndongo was the steering wheel of the Investigative Unit to reveal such damning accusations.
The 5th position is awarded to two stories. Firstly, “The Neglected Villagers in Mpumalanga Who Are Forced to Drink Water Contaminated With Nappies And Plastic Pickets.”
Secondly, a story that was knitted so eloquently by Ntozanele Libimbi, who at that time was a new, very vibrant contributor of The Open Journal. The piece is about one of UJ’s lecturers who used her own naked pictures to spotlight abuse suffered by women on a daily basis.
Entertainment and Arts
When it comes to Entertainment, “UJ Crowns The Best Singer, Dance and Slam Poet” major triumphant by becoming our number 6. Sanele Nkosi went beyond just reporting about the entertaining elements of the UJ Can U? but also delivered a precise understanding of each character in the story.
Number 7 are stories of the UJ soccer team. One of the stories was about the team winning with just one goal, but Kupakwashe Kambasha tentatively conceptualised the event. This makes one feel as if you are in the battlefield yet you are reading on the screen. When we talk of creativity and knitting words intimately, especially in Sports, the “Johannesburg Derby – A Game of High Intensity In This Week’s Varsity Cup” reflects that each word bespoke serves as a building block for a solid house.
“As we get ready to bid farewell to 2016 and reflect on the events of the year; it is the dramatic events that occurred in local and international politics that will leave an indelible mark in the local and international political spheres.” Those were the words of our political contributor, Bongani Mavundla, blessing us with a well-thought and written summary of dramatic political events that will never be forgotten of the year. This piece managed to squeeze itself to the top 8.
I would like to thank all the people who have made The Open Journal to be a success story. Most importantly, I would like to thank my editorial team and of course our loyal fans who have been supportive since from day one.