MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
When I joined Perdeby, I was quite set on entertainment journalism as my future career. I was not a huge fan of sport news or even news news, but my time at Perdeby has taught me to appreciate all forms of news. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m changing my career path, but rather that I have come to appreciate the values and purpose of news in all its forms.
I think the particluar aim of news that I appreciate the most, though, is that it reveals the truth. If you ask any of my friends or even some of the Perdeby team, they will tell you that I can sometimes be too honest, especially with my opinions, but my bluntness is not the point of this editorial.
Our front page is an example of the type of investigative journalism that Perdeby hasn’t seen in a long time. I watched for more than a week how Marko, Xander, Chad, Herman, and countless other journalists chased down sources, checked facts, transcribed quotes, and sought the truth in a somewhat unsavoury situation.
The article exposes a number of shady actions as well as people that kept quiet when they should have spoken up. This is backed up by the fact that - suddenly - a number of key roleplayers in the issues the article highlights started jumping ship only once they realised they would be placed in uncomfortable situations when we brought the truth to light.
The purpose of media is to hold those in power accountable for their actions. Perdeby takes pride in the fact that we are the campus watchdog and that it is our job to hold the SRC, management, and prominent groups and individuals on campus responsible for what they do. This is because we have the dual responsibility the second part of which demands that we give the voiceless a voice and raise issues that concern UP students.
Something I have been focusing on this week is the idea of celebration. Too often I (and the Perdeby team) get too caught up in everyday responsibilities – the mission that is putting a newspaper together – and the constant state of crisis a newsroom seems to contain. We too often forget to sit back and celebrate the fact that we manage to do all the big and little things, as well as a million extra things, and still come out fighting.
In life we can be like this too. Great moments get glossed over by the next thing on our “to-do” list (like the people running out of graduation to their next appointment. I know it’s a long ceremony, but you’re missing half the experience).
It’s slowly becoming part of our Thursday editorial meetings to celebrate something good that happens to each member of the editorial during the week. Sometimes it’s the fact that I receive pitches and articles early, and sometimes it’s the fact that I receive pitches and articles at all. Either way, it’s a matter of perspective that results in small bits of positivity that motivate us forward.
With the end of the Easter break comes a return to work, but also marks the start of graduation season. Over the next four weeks, UP will confer thousands of degrees and certificates upon thousand of people, and this is nothing but a reason to celebrate.
Some wonderful statistics about this graduation season have been doing the rounds on Facebook over the last week. Apart from the numbers of degrees being awarded, UP has also reached the 250 000 alumni mark. I think this speaks a lot for the type of institution we have the privilege to attend.
I had the honour of attending graduation this past week, along with several of our current and ex-staff members. It was so exciting to see so many people I knew complete something that they had worked so hard and long for. It was also inspiring to see people pursue academic learning past an undergraduate degree and invest research into relevant and important areas, such as African literature, South African sport, local culture and social constructs, and nation building.
Despite the fact that you may not have finished or may be finishing and moving on to the working world soon, the great thing is that learning never ceases. Formal academic learning at an institution is not the only means of education. Life lessons are taught through the things we do, the places we go to, and the people we meet, and it’s exciting to think that you’re always on a journey of self-improvement. I think this is worth as much celebration as graduation.
The most glorious part of this past week has to have been the rain that poured for more than a whole day. While we might never have been ready or happy about the flash floods or second shower on the way to class, it’s no secret that the country desperately needs rain. This rapid change in weather is unexpected but ultimately welcome.
Rapid change is not only manifesting in our weather but also in our social and political climates. However, 8 March, International Women’s Day, highlighted for me that gender equality is a place where rapid change is frustratingly absent. While there have been inroads made into equal gender representation in many areas, I just can’t understand how in 2016 such inequality still exists. Independent published some statistics that indicate the level of inequality women still face, even now.
This week’s edition has happened so quickly, it’s hard to register that it’s been happening at all. This is just another situation that has become the norm at the publication.
Gone are the days where we had to scrounge for news or could take our time writing it up. While I long for a break, it’s great to have news booming currently, so much so that we decided to include most of it in last week’s edition (which means we are now a bit limited this week as everything has already been published or is being worked on for our 14 March edition).
Much in the same way that our publication is a constant whirl of panicked activity, many students are also feeling this way, having fallen behind with academics because of disruptions and uncertainty. This week has been somewhat normal, but can we say that normality is back?