Broadcast journalists bring us the latest news on the ground, on TV, radio, social media, etc. Here’s a day in the exciting life of broadcast journalist, Silindelo Masikane.

The path to becoming a broadcast journalist

“All I knew at the time was that I wanted to work in radio and I have always had an interest in news and current affairs.” Silindelo’s passion for radio and current affairs was ignited in varsity, while she was pursuing her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology at Wits University. She followed her passion by auditioning to work at her campus radio station (VOW FM). On her second attempt, she was given the opportunity to volunteer at the news department. Once she got to experience what it was like to work in broadcasting, she was hooked! While she was gaining experience on the side, she wanted to complete her degree and make her parents proud. Soon after graduating, she got an internship at Jacaranda FM where she spent 4 years climbing up the ladder, until she was a senior multimedia reporter. She’s currently embarking on a new journey in TV as a broadcast journalist at eNCA, while also completing her master’s degree.

The daily grind

“Every day is different. I start all my days with a prayer, when my schedule allows, the first thing I'll do is work out (healthy body, healthy mind). I love music too, so I have a jam session while I get ready for work.” On a normal day, Silindelo starts off her day by grounding herself before she gets going with her work. Although her days aren’t the same, one thing’s certain- you’ll always find her chasing a story. She could be in court following up on a case, at a protest dodging rubber bullets, or in a media briefing. After all of that, she’ll be wrapping up the day’s top stories locally and internationally as a news anchor. Because her career is demanding, she tries to find a work-life balance by switching off after hours and spending time with her loved ones. That’s a great way to stay sane and on top of your game!

Expectation vs. reality

“The biggest misconception is that this career is glamorous.” Silindelo agrees that there’s a bit of glamour attached to this career, but she also reminds us that it also involves hard work and long hours. It also comes with having to deal with online bullies who always have something negative to say. The reality is that people can’t separate your job title from you because when they see you, they’ll always see someone who’s phishing for a story. What you see is only the tip of the iceberg, since most of the journalist’s work is done behind the scenes.

Advice for aspiring broadcast journalists

“Much of what we do as journalists, as members of the fourth estate, is to hold power to account and be a voice for the voiceless. Your credibility and your integrity are your currency. With great power comes great responsibility.” Your duty will be to bring pressing issues to the spotlight, and holding those in power accountable when needed. Prepare to not receive material rewards necessarily, but rather a sense of pride from being a voice that drives change. If you’ve been considering a career as a journalist, take note of Silindelo’s favourite Julian Assange quote- "if journalism is good, it is controversial by nature". We hope you’ve been inspired to follow your passion! Also, be sure to follow @Sli_Masikane on Twitter for the latest breaking news!

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