On Dit last words.
first published in 85.12
In this, our last editorial for our tenure, we would like to indulge ourselves a bit and discuss what independent media means to us. We have received a bit of criticism this year that we are too left-leaning or that we disproportionately report on conservative scandals. Those who criticise us for this imply that our left-leaning tendencies preclude us from being labeled ‘independent’. We would like to make one thing clear, independent media is not the same thing as impartial media. Independent media is the ability for editors, for writers, and all other contributors to scrutinise any and all political actors without fear of retribution. It is the absence of outside political influences onto the publication. We are independent because no one else at this university–except for our readers–can influence how this magazine is made.
A reader once commented that “conservatism is the ideology of the cornered animal”. An apt metaphor, but we prefer to think of conservatism as the ideology of the sadomasochist–at least at the university level anyway. No other ideology on campus has spawned such self-flagellatory nonsense as voluntary student unionism, deregulation of university fees, refusal to support the ‘Yes’ vote for SSM, support of penalty rate cuts, or homophobes in urinals as the conservative ideology. We understand that #NotAllConservatives are like this, but we can’t help but wonder what would compel any student to support such beliefs that not only hurt others, but also themselves.
Independent media is the ability to call this out for what it is. Impartial media is sticking to the sidelines out of fear of being labeled biased. In many ways, impartial media is the ideology of the cornered journalist; ever happy to sit on the fence and keep their readers in the dark. It is the role of student media (indeed media itself) to hold our decision- makers to account. Once this role becomes eroded through decision-makers calling for ‘more diversity of content’ (read: more food reviews, less reporting), the entire existential purpose of publications like ours are called into question.
One of the main complaints we received in our eSELTS this year was a perceived left-wing bias. We came into this publication as three left-wing students and that is exactly how we are leaving. We are biased and that’s what makes us independent. Student media will always be independent at this university, we just pray that it is never impartial.
It’s been an absolute pleasure,
Tom, Jesse, and Jenny
Editors of On Dit vol. 85