Week 5 Editorial

Living in a brave new world.

Drawn picture of Pauline Hansen and Malcolm Turnbull standing in front on an industrial skyline and the Australian flag. A blimp with 'Fake News' written on the side flies above in the sky. A row of refugees marches out of the frame. The image is reminiscent of 20th century propaganda posters, featuring block colouring. Week 5 Cover Art Image: Matthew Fisher

My Mother always spoke of how her generation were embroiled in a time of protest and change; a time when voices became united in chant and twenty-something year olds didn’t think they could make change someday, but today. At my age, she sat on the cusp of womanhood and revolution, writing poetry about sex and songs about war. I pen assignments about the rise of Youtube, while she shot short docos about the rise of the workers’ rights movement. This world she described, that of her youth, was characterised by the realisation of both oppression and idealism.

But I wish she could see what our world has become in the last 12 months. No longer are our leaders trying to convince us of how we should respond to the truths of our world – war, poverty, terrorism – but are calling into question the idea of truth itself. Our political discourse has become intoxicated by “alternative facts” and “fake news”. Lies are justified and truth is called into question with a single phrase: “everyone is entitled to an opinion”.

Those who are most privileged are reclaiming the title of “most oppressed”. We are victims of higher taxes, hate-speech legislation, muslims, asylum seekers, same-sex couples, and nasty women.

It is at this time when accurate reporting and well-researched journalism is most important. In this post-truth information cycle, it’s all we have left to cut through the bullshit and the lies.

This edition of Honi Soit — the only weekly student newspaper our nation has left — is thus dedicated to unashamedly confronting our brave new world. We are living in a time of rapid change, and it is of some comfort to me – some way of reclaiming my place  — to take a small snapshot of this epoch and put it to print in these pages.

Of course, I dedicate this edition to my Mother, Christina Landis: the most revolutionary and polemic woman I’ll ever know.

Vice Chancellor Michael Spence.

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