Working on the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela was one of the most emotionally draining and sad events I have ever covered, but it was also the most rewarding career highlight of my life!
Helping to build Ourmadiba.com and live blogging every second of his funeral kept me connected to his spirit in a way that I will not forget.
I did get to do some traditional reporting, too and one of my contributions includes this piece which is so me; this is my musical tribute to Madiba.
I have just returned from an awe-inspiring two-week trip to Amsterdam where I was enrolled in the University of Amsterdam’s Digital Methods Summer school.
The focus for this year was : Geolocation: Remote Event Analysis (Mapping Conflicts, Disasters, Elections and other Events with Online and Social Media Data)
The course involved a combination of new skills acquisition (umm, Gephi graphs!), deep data dives, and inspirational talks, all culminating in weekly research projects we worked on in groups. The first project we did was on the political discourse surrounding the world cup looking at how activists were ‘hijacking’ the official hashtags and platforms. This reminded me some of Clay Shirky’s Political Uses of Social Media classes at NYU. Man if only I had known about google scrapers then.
The second project we did was The City as Interface, where we worked with geosocial media platforms (such as Foursquare, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Meet-up, and Geocaching) to determine what kind of Amsterdam they present. Using digital research methods (like an awesome Pinterest crawler built by one of my teammates) we were able to identify the parochial and the public spaces of the city.
Not sure how far I’ll get with my skint knowledge of CatoDB in building complex geodata visualisations on my own – but I now know more than I did before. So, all in all, it was an awesome experience.
Here’s to the eternal student life!
Another momentous media moment I forgot to post!
I recently oversaw africa.com’s coverage and social marketing of Barack Obama’s historic round trip of three African countries last year collated under the banner Obama in Africa. Africa.com CEO Teresa Clarke was in the press corp, a massive honor for a small online publisher!
I was so happy that even with all the crazy coordinating of writers, planning stories, working on video and liaising with the Whitehouse I was able to cover some events and do some writing. My pieces are below.
Covering Michelle Obama’s round table with youth leaders hosted by MTV Base
Live blog of Barack Obama’s address at the University of Cape Town working with youth activist Sindi Leigh McBride.
Obama Africa visit first on Instagram