Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


OPINIONS

Voicing diverse ideas a necessity

Exhibition lacking coverage

Look beyond first two chapters

Get to know a sister

Recycling the real issue, not hurt feelings

Drink milk, hate life

Would not change a thing

A valuable life lesson well-learned

Journalistic integrity with a dash of silliness

The last word

A valuable life lesson well-learned



This year-end column could be really sappy, as generally I tend towards the romantic, emotional side of life. But now that wouldn't be interesting for anyone to read, would it?

Instead, I'd like to get a bit critical of the year which just passed. Not that there haven't been a million good things about being an editor at The Gazette. Throughout my four years here I've made a lot of lifelong friends, learned a lot about myself, this university and the world of journalism. I think anyone who walks through the doors of Room 263 of the University Community Centre will gain those valuable and memorable lessons.

There are other not so pleasant aspects I will remember from this job. Granted, the student population should not be expected to know what the role of the Deputy Editor at a student newspaper is – and that's not what bothers me. One would expect, however, that the powers in charge of a newspaper, who have the final say and control its funding, would know what every position of their employees entails. And I didn't get that feeling this year. At all.

I suppose it comes with the territory. I am not the Editor-in-chief. I am not the spokesperson of the paper. But I do have a third of the decision-making power of front office. I did not have to deal directly with our publisher, but as an editorial board member I was affected by any and all decisions made.

I realize I could have spoken out long ago. But I've learned a few important lessons from merely observing the situation.

Firstly, I've realized the reality of red tape, doubletalk, make-work projects, egotism and overall futility of workings in the business world. I've learned that to effectively report on issues, to create a piece of journalism unhindered by confidentiality, management run-around and memo babble, you have to break out on your own.

Students need their own voice. They need to be able to know the objective truth. And I'm not hinting at any sort of mega conspiracy going on behind the scenes. I've just learned this year, through sideline observations, that freedom of the press should and must be taken literally.

So now that I've expressed my utter disdain for the system, I'd like to say I wouldn't have traded it for anything, even the social life, good grades, overall well-being and sanity I've sacrificed to edit these pages.

Ultimately I've learned sometimes its just better to sit back and learn than try to speak when you know you're not going to be heard.


To Contact The Opinions Department:
gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1999