Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:36 pm Post subject: responsibility?
I was just wondering what people's thoughts were on the following:
Is a free press responsible for being accurate, or just well written?
The reason I say that is because John has agreed to adapt a part of his article because it may cause some offence. That reference isn't under review because of its truth (I don't know how fake tan takes to that part of the body) but because it could possibly cause offence.
Isn't it incumbent upon a free press to tell truth? I (as a bit more of an insider than most) know what the situation is with Res Exec, students adding to the community, social responsibilityetc but this isn't what John is agreeing to adapt, even though this is actually incorrect.
My worry is that now, the impressionable students (because I presume that we aren't vetting our readers with some test) are being pushed further away when we attack the democratic structures that could serve them. I think it is a hugely irresponsible misuse of a free press to make that statement.
Giving students the choice about whether to get f**k and drink loads doesn't mean that the optimum outsome is them choosing not to. The optimum outcome is them choosing. Although some students do come and get stupidly drunk (and I defy many of you to say you haven't got slaughtered at some point) look at those that don't. The Guild offers one of the few places on campus where Muslim students can wash and pray. The Exec just approved funding to turn a committee room into a wash facility specially for pre-prayer ablutions. This is the 'atmosphere and environment' which John W speaks of, but that isn't getting press because I fear that the free press is never free because it exists to sell. It is not there to give the mutli-faceted journalism that these issues deserve, because lets not pretend that this is an investigative or action provoking article. Its a bitch fest, although a very well written one.
Recongnise progress - the Guild doesn't do ANY drink offers any more because it cares about student welfare. If students don't is that the Guild's fault? The messages about safe drinking are repeated year after year and if this article succeeds, and makes students stay away from the Guild, how the hell can we expect the Guild to successfully change that behaviour and make those impressionable students in a different mould? We mention 13 students going to hospital, infer that not being able to veto private business (not that we say that it is private business, we imply that it is the Guild's event) is the Guild's fault and expect progress from them? Really?
I'm sorry that I sound like I have serious beef with John, because I don't. I respect and love the work that has gone into the article because it is an issue which needs raising. This, however, is not the way to do it. There is a reason that papers have editors - they demand a higher standard of research and enquiry than the article above. I worry about the ability of the Radish Grand High Committee, or the editors out of a hat to achieve this.
It seems to me that John has written a great letter page entry, not an article. Why not speak to people that know about this sort of thing and then produce an article. There is no future in a paper that doesn't report, but just sensationalises. We should reporting truths, not attempting hackery. We have a huge possibility to reform the student population and instead we're going for the cheap knocks. This, to me, is the real misuse of power.
(PS I hope this is taken as constructively as possible, I really don't mean to insult John's integrity or concern for the issue in question, just the means by which it is being fought. I hope that the issues I have raised are addressed because I would hate this to become personal when it isn't intended to be). _________________ "the hardest thing to do in politics is nothing"
President of the Guild of Students
Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:41 pm Post subject: Re: responsibility?
Don't worry, I don't take this personally, this is exactly the kind of debate my friends and I wanted to create by producing the paper (+ I still don't know who you are anyway).
I've really considered your points and I've decided to withdraw the article from consideration for this weeks paper.
You' are right, the facts need to be addressed in more detail. i'm not in the business of sensationalising the Radish, I just feel very strongly on this subject. I still stand by what I've said and I still think that the Guild has a strong influence in seting the tone of Freshers week, whether directly or indirectly by maintaining the status quo. However I would like to speak to someone who knows the nitty gritty of how this all happens. Who are you? Can we meet up so I can investigate this further? Give me a ring - 07886186797.
By creating an atmosphere where people don't need to get f**k I'm talking about creating an inspiring space, laden with student art, grafiti, comfy and relaxing, whre all students can add their own beauty, not the ablutions room for Muslims. Although this is fantasic progress it doesn'tt really appeal as an alternative to Fab... or all the other nights that use the same fab DJ's. _________________ "err. yeah there was... like this err... big bang... and err... now we have tescos....... oh surley nobodies going to buy that?" (Friedman Lemaitre, Scientist)