Want to become a journalist? Brace yourself for long hours and little sleep, although the job is also highly rewarding, says Duncan Masiwa. He dreams of one day owning his one TV production company.
Why did you choose this profession
Well, I like to hear about things first when they happen before anyone else – just for the #braggingrights of course. Haha. No, on a serious note, through journalism I have been able to have an impact on the lives of thousands of people without even having met them. Let me tell you, nothing beats the feeling you get someone tells you that an article you wrote somehow added value to their life.
What training did you undergo?
I did an online course in journalism through SA Writers College. Since then, I have also completed several other news writing training sessions. A great highlight was being awarded the opportunity to receive international training through the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). We were only a select group of journalist in Africa to receive training on science in the newsroom. The course was called “Building journalist skills for future health crises.”
What kind of personality suits journalism?
Journalists are usually artistic individuals. They tend to be persuasive, goal-orientated and display unwavering determination. Other than that, they are also passionate, open-minded, and optimistic.
What do you enjoy most?
Interviewing and connecting with people. That is the part of my job I love the most.
What don’t you like?
Oh gosh… The long hours and little sleep. But hey, no successful career comes without a little (or much) sacrifice right?
What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
It was when I wrote a profile piece about a Limpopo-based farmer. A week after the article was published, he contacted me to inform me that the article had opened new markets for him. A similar thing happened with a KwaZulu-Natal-based farm manager, who was offered a partnership with an international agricultural organisation.
Any advice for high school learners who want to become journos?
Take your languages seriously. If you are in a position to learn an additional language at school or privately, do it. A big part of your job as a journalist will be connecting with people and communities. By speaking their “language,” you will do an excellent job in conveying their stories to the masses.
Near future goals include cementing myself in various media platforms: radio, print and TV. That big goal, however, is to start and head up the biggest broadcasting company. I also want to start my own film production company.
Your job in three words?
Satisfying, necessary and fabulous.