When information is withheld or not found, truth is lost.
We all remember RAG weekend, with the SMS system and UP Beats that I had a few harsh words to say about. Well, turns out the SMS system was the university’s decision and not RAG’s decision. I’ve taken a point to mention it in my editorial because it was here where I first spoke out about the changes to RAG. I still stand by what I said about the procession: that I feel like we have lost some of our tradition with the removal of blikskud. I also still stand by my comments about better communication between RAG and students. But I do realise now that the blame was not entirely theirs. The university thought the SMS system would work better to help raise money and RAG had to adhere to that. The university also said that changing the system did not allow for RAG to have enough time to communicate the change to the public.
I don’t know exactly when RAG found out about the change, but part of me wishes that they would have told Perdeby when they did – even if that was only the night before. The media is there to help raise immediate awareness about issues in the community. We could have worked together around this situation.
On the other side of the coin though, we do thank our readers who have started communicating with us. There are a few things in this world that are truly satisfying when you are working in the media, and one of them is when your readers communicate with you or give you feedback on your work. Whether the feedback is good or bad, it generally means one thing: that people are reading what you are putting out there. This has two major advantages.
Firstly, it holds the journalists and staff at the paper accountable. If you know that the person who you wrote about will be reading your work, you make sure that you use their information ethically and correctly. At least that is what journalists should be doing.
The second advantage is that you get an idea of who your readership is. What they like and what they don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, everyone won’t always agree with what we publish, but when a paper stands independent from other organisations, receives constructive criticism and looks at what their readers need, then growth is inevitable. And if you feel that we aren’t reporting your side of the story well enough, come talk to us. Or if you feel like we are forgetting important news on campus, tell us. Telepathy, unfortunately, is not one of my strong points.
For those of you who have contacted us these past few weeks, I’m grateful to you. Whether it is to point out a slip-up – we are only human, as Forrest Gump says, “It happens” – or respond to issues we address, we appreciate your input.
It is when people recognise you, or tell you that they’ve read your article, that the long hours in the office become worth it. It is when people talk about what you have made them aware of in your writing that journalism’s allure reaches its full potential.
As for this week’s edition, I hope you enjoy it. We published your comments about rape on page 7 and we talk to Jakkals on page 8. If you missed the PSL game between AmaTuks and Moroka Swallows, read our coverage of the match on page 12. We are also reopening applications for sport writers. Application forms are available on our website.
Until next time
PS: Pssst… is back this week, as well as Sudoku. Page 10. Enjoy.