Although a reflection on our achievements in this year’s Honi Soit would be fitting for the last editorial, we contend that 12 months on, we cannot presume to be so wise, nor so arrogant. We are still learning, and we will continue to do so even when newer, more acne-ridden faces have replaced us.
As editors, we have been tireless in our pursuit of the same goals Honi declared 85 years ago: to tell the truth (give or take), to be irreverent, and to hold power to account.
When student media is considered, it is often seen as inconsequential and without influence. Yet, there is something unique about the willingness to push boundaries, and to shed light on the truth, which can only be attributed to its belligerence – whether it is through publishing 18 vulvae on the front cover, calling for the resignation of University staff, or the decision to publicly name a perpetrator of sexual harassment.
As student journalists, we don’t just publish words; we chase leads and set the agenda. We support the marginalised and the underrepresented to speak in autonomous editions. We harness the power of the digital age in the nitty-gritty coding of modern platforms. We have shared sandwiches with Australia’s finest journalists in the Federal Budget lock-up. We sit outside the oligopoly that is the mainstream Australian media, nesting in the hotbed of the University of Sydney.
In doing so, we serve our readership with no motive of our own outside of holding institutional power to account.
And so, when we are met with criticism from all corners of the campus – from the University, or the University of Sydney Union, from factions far and wide, or the very organisation that funds us, the Student Representative Council, we return to our office with the knowledge that we are doing our job well.
This paper is the fruits of the labour of its underpaid and overworked student editors (though if we had our way, we would stick around for years). We were elected by our peers with a mandate to shine light on what truly matters. Along the way, we have been lucky to have the support of our reporters, SRC staff and sometimes even students.
Ultimately, Honi Soit’s success is decided by you, dear reader. Every editor, reporter and contributor first came to the paper by picking it up and flipping through its pages. You have contributed through criticism or acclaim, and we can only thank you for coming along on this journey with us.