In a week’s time, after this edition of Honi Soit has been read and discarded, we will be celebrating this rag’s 85th birthday with a party at Verge Gallery. It’s easy to be transfixed by the nostalgia and decades of history attached to this paper, but it’s just as important to remain forward-looking, and not rest on the laurels of our predecessors.
Following in the footsteps of the paper’s last two editorial teams, we have endeavored to push Honi online and grow its digital presence. 2012 gave us the first functional Honi Soit website. 2013 took to Twitter and gave the campus live, rolling coverage of the industrial action and the battle for fair teaching conditions.
This year, we attempted to add to this salvo by revamping the website; releasing an app; rolling out a live blog; and running the gaudy and depraved Hack Bet. We have not been sated, however, by merely adding toys to an online arsenal.
We adopted a culture of breaking news online – urgently and immediately – rather than restricting ourselves to a weekly print deadline. In many ways, we strived to go the way of several college newspapers in the United States and operate as a daily, albeit with a weekly 24-page supplement (and less money).
This too has extended our reach beyond the confines of campus and exposed us to an audience of faraway fans and online trolls. At the time of printing we’re on track to crack half a million visits to the website, just in our year-long stewardship of this glorious rag.
To match these figures in print, students would need to pick up every single one of our 4,000 copies of Honi Soit, hand it to a mate, and then have it passed on to another four people, for each and every week of our 26-edition print run.
With all that said, objectivity may be dead but print sure isn’t. There is a weekly ritual of laying up the paper, cramming in content, and becoming increasingly delirious and deranged that cannot be beaten by the beige roar of uploading articles to WordPress.
Where does this paper – the term now looking more and more like an anachronistic metonym – go from here? What direction does it take? What will become of old mate Ibis?
Fuck if we know.
But for now, we’ll leave you with the words of 1996 US presidential contender Kodos. Though he was speaking to the plight of the American people, we feel his words apply perfectly to the media crises of today and the response given by the industry’s finest séances: “We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom.”
It’s been a pleasure, mates. We hope you enjoy our penultimate edition half as much as we did, and twice as much our parents.