Inordinate Ordnance: Where Student Media Stands
Thursday, September 27, 20120 Comments
The predilection toward the apathetic masses I possess is oddly self-serving. I mean, I am a town crier. I am the dead vocation of print, in digital form, pouring bad vibrations on good intentions. I am a columnist. I am the great dancer and spin-doctor; a voice for the people?
“Do something, get out there, make a difference. This is stupid. This is awesome. This is…something, I guess.” I say, from the safety of the online median and irony tower [sic]. It is important, especially in the fledgling days of first-year jitters, to simply and articulately explain our position as student unions and groups. We, the people, stand in unity, one nation, under the Gryphon.
But there is a certain disconnect. Do we really speak on your behalf?
You may be reading this on The Cannon. A place many students know as a good way to get cheap books and housing. We have some opinion pieces, reviews in kind and commentary. Recently, we have made a big push into news. Our aim is to give a voice to the student population and act as watchmen on behalf of the general population of this institution. We are funded and owned by the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. It is important for you to know this, as it puts our bias in question. But rest assured, this possible bias is known and usurped, even at the plight of the CSA or Co-op. That is to say, we tend to criticize our creators the most.
You may be reading this in The Ontarion. For which, I am only a contributor. They are the biggest news medium on campus with a history spanning all the way back to 1951. They are also wholly independent, catering the student population en masse. We at The Cannon look to The Ontarian as an older brother, wiser and well…older.
The point I am trying to make is that we even have our biases as voices of the students. Further more, are we fairly representing you, despite our biases? We are biased in our pursuit of unbiased journalism, certainly. We here at The Cannon are biased in our pursuit to become a viable source of news and commentary for students. Therefore, some things that come down from the top may take more criticism than something coming from a student. Last week, we ran an ad on The Cannon about the CSA elections. I laboured about the choice to do so. Since a portion of tuition from each student technically funds us, we need to be scrupulous about our messages to students (that’s why we do not advertise, usually). It is our job to give you facts, free from administrative colour.
What is your job? Your job is to tell us what to criticize. Your job, as readers, is to let us know what pissed you off, what makes you beam with pride or what we are doing wrong. I have a traditionalist’s view of media: it should afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. If at any time we are not doing so (I may not be representing The Ontarian here, but maybe I should be), you, the population we speak for, should tell us so. We act as a check and balance for the administration, while you act as ours.
I invite you to act, not against the administration, but against us, who are acting as your voice to the larger population. Be our mind and heart, while we be your voice. I know for us, at The Cannon, the symbolic positioning of Old Jeremiah means something. It’s muzzle points squarely at the administrative offices in the UC, and we aim to do the same. If they act in any way not conducive to student life, we light the fuse. However, we need you to look down the sights first.
We are all here for a common goal: to learn. If anything gets in the way of that, know as students, you have a voice. All we need now is cannon fodder.
Chris Carr is Editor-in-Chief of The Cannon. Inordinate Ordnance publishes every Thursday in The Cannon and in The Ontarion Student Newspaper at the University of Guelph.
The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.