Is it too much? A cover photo, a news story, letters, and three opinion pieces. It’s a strike heavy edition, that’s for sure. But it’s no accident.
Like so many issues important to students, last week’s NTEU/CPSU strike received wide coverage of only shallow depth. It was exactly the kind of journalism we railed against in the past two editorials; intro, quote A vs. quote B, fin. The ABC, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, and The Australian got their Michael Thomson, Michael Spence, and David Pink quotes and then got out.
Tellingly, the most critical, analytical article I have read so far was written by our friends over at UTS’ student publication, Vertigo. They were the only publication to run a direct quote from a student aside from the SRC President. Elsewhere, the voices of staff and students couldn’t fit in the 250 word news brief.
And that’s fine. The audiences of these papers are too vast to spend pages on something so local. They don’t care if Sally from Engineering decided to take a stand on the picket line, or if Damien from Commerce just wanted to go to his lecture.
But we do. When we campaigned and sought election as an editorial team the most consistent feedback we got was that students wanted a paper that was local, a paper that was different to the SMH, the Oz, the ABC.
We’ve made the decision to go into depth with issues like the strike to fill the gap and to give students a platform to discuss and debate the issues that press down on them every day, in profoundly manifest and inscrutably subtle ways.
Our in-depth strike coverage is indicative of our broader agenda. We’re here to report the stories that affect you on the most immediate level; the industrial disputes that overwhelm your campus, the politics that govern your student organisations, and sometimes, just sometimes, the insects that chase your lecturer out of their lecture hall.