The unpredictability of journalism
Informing the public about things they need to know every day
14 August 2020 | People
Kristien Kruger was born at Otjiwarongo, then moved to Walvis Bay and then Windhoek. She attended Windhoek High School from grade 8 to 12 and studied at the North-West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom, where she was the sports editor for the ‘Wapad’ (student newspaper) for two years.
Kruger then completed her honours in Afrikaans and Dutch literature at Stellenbosch University and graduated in 2019. “For the first six months of 2020, I was in America. I lived in Houston, Texas, with my boyfriend who plays professional rugby there,” she mentions.
Kruger is now a journalist at Republikein. “I write stories, attend events, take photos, record videos and interview people,” she adds. Her day consists of reading all the newspapers before the 8 o’clock diary meeting where they decide who is doing what stories.
“The team then goes out to cover stories and events and regroups later during the day to discuss stories and plan page layout, I complete my stories for the day, usually two, and go home at 17:00,” Kruger adds. The sub-editors, proofreaders and designers then put everything together and the same cycle repeats itself the next day.
When asked to sum up her experience in the Republikein newsroom so far, Kruger replied: “Challenging. In a good way. This newspaper is a daily miracle; there is a small group of people that work together and do so much to produce such an accurate and flawless product.
“I don’t think people quite understand how this job goes. We are a group of people sitting in a meeting every morning discussing the gruesome, sad or unfair stuff that happens in our country. It is a challenge not to let those things get to you.”
Kruger adds that the most challenging aspect of this job is its unpredictability. “Each day you walk into the office with no idea of what your day will entail. Murder case? Corruption scandal? Protest? You never know.”
According to Kruger, journalism fights against unfairness and inequality and it always acts in favour of the public. “Success is uncovering the truth and informing the public about things they need to know.”.
Kruger says young people are faced with a big decision about their future after school – passion or money. You either do what you love, or what you know will provide a good income. “Each choice has its advantages, but you will never get tired of doing what you love,” she says.