YALI Cohort 2 Chronicles: ‘Figure it out’
What does a journalist do in the middle of entrepreneurs, budding activists, organisers, and aspiring politicians, okay, should I say leaders? How does a journalist get in? How did you get in? These are the questions people were asking me, and like everyone else, I had a template response: I applied, I was accepted, so here I am.
Some did not understand why I’d be here to study public management! Well, here’s the short answer: I cover politicians. I think I know politics. I also think I know baloney. Plus I think I know a little bit about legislation and public policy. I just want to know, why we tend to have very good politicians, but a hopeless development record. A hopeless government. That’s it.
I was approached by people who asked me what “column” I wrote. I didn't have an answer. If you were me, well, you can’t do anything but explain that you do news, analyses and features, and that you don’t have a column. That’s until a fearless participant walks to you and asks for space to write a column in your newspaper. And when you tell the participant that columnists are engaged differently and that whatever they send might end up in the Letters Page or the Opinion-Editorial, you will be startled, the way I was when I was told: “You figure it out!”
They are teaching people here to think outside the box. Mark actually took an empty box, stood inside – a grown old man in a suit standing inside a box—then jumped out, took the box, tore it into pieces and threw the pieces away. No limits, he said. So, about that column, I need to find the box…to tear it.