The Honi Race: Profiling Cream for Honi

Cream have outright failed the newly implemented Honi Quiz

Image of Cream's cover photo, 10 candidates covered in whipped cream

Editors Pranay Jha and Liam Thorne are not involved in the 2019 coverage of the Honi Soit, NUS and SRC elections.

Quiz Score 39%

We’ll get this out of the way first – as we’ve reported, no members of Cream have written for Honi Soit. The bulk of their campus-based writing experience arises out of two members being regular reporters for Pulp, alongside some involvement in Dissent and the nascent USyd Women publication and adjacent media Enid. Much of their reporting experience lies is in non-editorial roles and we can’t help but notice that they’ve misspelt ‘pursuasions’ in their policy statement. Correct spelling isn’t all that necessary when editing a newspaper, so let’s not dwell on that.

There is benefit in some of Cream’s policies. They’ve implied that they will uphold the recently introduced multilingual section in promising “increased content by international students for international students.” We are sure that there are some people on campus who enjoy university related sports events, coverage of which Cream have also promised. Discussion is generally a good thing, and in line with this idea, Cream would like to see more debate and panel events.

While Cream’s promise of including USU club and societies reports is a peculiar addition into a paper published by the SRC, it may, at least, indicate a general interest in increasing engagement with the student body in clubs and societies, even if that means acceding limited paper space to external organisations, creating conflicts of interest and compromising the paper’s ability to cover major C&S fuck-ups.

The group’s limited proximity to Honi Soit makes itself apparent in the rest of their policy platform, which can be sliced into three neat categories: 1. Uncompromisingly vague; 2. Things that already exist; and 3. Literally recycled content from anonymous USyd-centric internet forums.

Institutional knowledge isn’t the only attribute required of an Honi ticket. But a degree of know-how certainly helps prospective editors understand the practical possibilities and realistic limitations facing Honi. On this front, Cream want to write about, inter alia, “things that impact [students]” and “uni life.” So broad are these two descriptors that we have no doubt that Cream, or anyone else who ever edits a student newspaper for that matter, will easily fulfil this election promise.

They have pledged to “improve student writing with submission feedback” – something Honi editors have done as part of the pitch commissioning process since, well, time immemorial. Cream are also interested in having “regular online content”, which has also been a feature of the paper ever since Honi went digital.

The fact that some of these policies are vague to the point of lacking substance, or are things that have been a part of the Honi process for years, suggests that Cream have a grave lack of understanding of how Honi Soit works and has worked for years. As for the utility of re-publishing “top USyd rants/love letters”? We’ll let you make your mind up on that one.

Coming in with a 39 per cent score, Cream have outright failed the newly implemented Honi Quiz.

Cream failed to identify the ‘inverted pyramid’ as a commonplace and widely-used structure for news articles, incidentally taught annually to reporters at Honi training events. In attempting to identify the ex-SRC lawyer who was controversially dismissed back in June, Cream named Michael Koziol, who is in fact a current reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, and was an editor of Honi in 2012 – worrying, as it is the SRC legal service that often provides guidance as to the legal risks of running particular stories in the paper.

Cream were also unable to register that students and staff of the Faculty of Medicine have been facing eviction from the Anderson Stuart Building throughout the entirety of this year. Nor did they know the names of both Universities that have implemented the Ramsay Centre’s Bachelor of Western Civilisation. We’re sure that both of these pieces of knowledge are well and truly within the ambit of “reporting for students about things that impact them” – an aforementioned Cream policy – but the group’s actual knowledge of the things which are currently impacting students is incomplete.

Cream’s quiz result ultimately demonstrates a tangible apathy towards prominent issues faced by students at the time of their candidacy – issues which are likely to spill into their editorial term, should they be elected. That apathy is a politically-motivated outcome of a ticket more obsessed with the paper’s role in federal politics than student issues. Cream knew that prominent Liberal Julie Bishop had assumed the role of Chancellor at the Australian National University (ANU) recently, but incorrectly thought ANU had partnered with the Ramsay Centre.

In tandem, Cream come across as being out of touch with Honi Soit. That may be because they might not read Honi Soit or because they don’t like Honi Soit in its current form. Maybe they would like to change Honi Soit. All of this is their prerogative as a ticket. The point still stands that they fatally lack the requisite knowledge that forms the bulk of some of the policies they wish to espouse.

View the questions from this year’s quizzes here.

Honi is hosting the annual Honi Debate on Monday 16 September from 1pm at Hermanns.

Send Cream and Fit a question here.

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