So here we here, almost at the end of it all. 24 issues, 154 cheese pizzas and about 400 bottles of the BWS cleanskin later, we’re all much the same: a bit fatter, a bit paler, papers produced, papers pulped.
It occurred to me recently that Honi really has a fundamentally stupid business model: Get 10 people to spend 12 months grappling with InDesign and the basics of defamation law. Make sure none have any particular managerial experience, then see how they go coordinating 100+ reporters and artists of diverse talent and temperament, endlessly searching for polite ways of saying “Oh God we can’t publish this” at 2am in the morning. Let those 10 people get to a point where they’ve maybe, just maybe, got control of that hurtling train… and then throw them all out and get in a whole new bunch.
The only thing you can really guarantee with a model like that is that every editorial team will make mistakes. Creative, professional, personal, more than a few ethical—messing up seems to be built into the system. If you stuck with us despite that, then thank you. If you called us out on it at any point, thank you. Furious Facebook comments taught me far more this year than polite praise.
Mistakes aside, every week we really did try to fill these pages with voices of people who cared; with people who were engaged, alive and aware of their world—and brave enough to write about it. It requires a huge amount of trust to put your name to something in print so if you invested any of that in us this year, thank you.
I’m under no illusions—year to year, few things really change with Honi. But even if the paper doesn’t change all that much, please trust that people do. This year, I’ve seen young reporters who used to need two weeks to write an article turn one around in two days. I’ve seen news reporters venture into comedy and culture writers try their hand at opinion. I’ve seen my fellow editors become clearer, stronger and braver in their imagination and resolve.
That stuff is cool to see and if you read, commented, liked or shared any of yours ideas with us this year you made it possible. So from the 2015 editors, sorry for all the fuck ups and thanks so much for reading.