News idea by the truckload for The BEAT this week

Printing press. Photo: Google

I write this letter long before the reporters arrive, ahead of our Monday morning pre-publication conference.

Take a moment and imagine yourself the editor of one of the country’s strongest regional newspapers, grappling with what needs to be done to produce the next edition.

Strongest regional newspapers? Yes, we are, considering The BEAT’s incredible run at both the Caxton Excellence Awards and the Forum for Community Journalists Excellence Awards in recent

There is an unwritten rule of thumb across newsrooms that a reporter is as good as his/her last story, and the photographer as good as his/her last picture.

For editors it is a matter of thinking ahead, against the backdrop of the rapidly changing news narrative.

As the editor I look at Russia 2018, and ponder what could be our approach to be different say from Daily Sun.

And by the time you read this, the finalists for the greatest sporting event in the whole circumference of the earth would have been decided mid-week.

I shall see how we can squeeze something as early as our Wednesday deadline day, when the completed newspaper has to be dispatched to the printers in Johannesburg.

Just as these thoughts bubble in the melting pot of ideas through the editor’s mind, comes the ground-breaking news that Thohoyandou-based Black Leopards Football Club may have to go through
the promotional play-offs once again.

For the uninitiated, the VhaVenda of Thohoyandou, together with soccer lovers as far afield as the Waterberg, celebrated all-night long after Black Leopards FC beat Gauteng-based Jomo Cosmos
FC in the National First Division promotional play-offs, to advance to the multi-million rand Premier Soccer League (PSL.

But alas, now a court of law has ruled that the relegated Ajax Cape Town FC be re-instated into the paid ranks, which automatically places under a cloud Black Leopards’ elevation to the
nation’s top-flight football.

We should be able to put together something for this week’s edition to help the reader understand the implications.

PSL chairperson, Dr Irvin Khoza, was on record to say his board of governors had resolved to take the matter on appeal.

Given that he said individual clubs such as Thohoyandou Black Leopards FC had the constitutional right to take up the matter with FIFA, the world’s controlling body, this could translate into
fierce court battles.

The stakes are sky high.

These court battles, soccer scribes fear, could delay the kick for the 2018-2019 PSL season.

Another unfolding drama for us was the forthcoming Ward 9 by-elections in Bela-Bela.

The DA had since put forth Eddie Aschendorf as its candidate, while the Economic Freedom Fighters have settled for Andreas Mwambo from Vingerkraal.

At the time of writing this letter, the ANC had not as yet unveiled a candidate for the by-elections, while the Bela-Bela Rasidents’ Association chose not to contest the ward.

One hopes against hope that the ANC should in this particular edition announce the party’s candidate because the by-elections should be steaming ahead on Tuesday 17 July.

— The BEAT

Johnny Masilela

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