Photographs by Nozipho Mthembu
There was a time when the last place you would seek to advance your journalism career was at a jazz jol. Well, many tried. Great fun and a lot to be learnt but polishing the craft was just not possible. These days the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) has excellent annual training opportunities.
This year’s programme included a number of workshops, among them Arts Journalism and Photo Journalism. For several days young people were given intense training and mentorship. The photographs on this page are all the work of one young woman, Nozipho Mthembu, who had the opportunity to be tutored by the renowned Peter McKenzie, Chief Photographer for Southern Africa at Panapress.
The Photo Journalism course is facilitated by McKenzie and is focused on the concepts of perspective, practice and one’s approach to photography. Participants are encouraged to explore a wider repertoire of possibilities outside of the contested space of live-state photography. Research and its relationship to pre-visualisation complement the practical sessions.
Each participant presents a portfolio of jazz photographs taken at various festival activities that is then used as the basis for quality improvement and development of the individual’s visual voice.
Some sessions are combined with the Arts Journalism course to explore and consolidate the relationship between words and images and the photographer/journalist collaboration.
The CTIJF Arts Journalism course is the longest running workshop within the festival’s Training and Development programme.
Participants are carefully selected for the programme that covers units of study set out of the South African Qualifications Authority.
This year’s curriculum encompassed the “Cover a Specialist Beat as a Journalist”, that academically equates to the Level 5 National Certificate in Journalism.
The course provides a workbook packed with useful tips and hints as well as hands-on workshop sessions, offering practical guidance and feedback on tasks.
Journalists, journalism cadets and interns from any medium wishing to improve their expertise in writing for the arts are encouraged to apply.
Students have an opportunity to improve their skills, in addition to networking and working with seasoned journalists and media people.
Certificates are presented to students on completion of the course.