“Never again,” we said. How naive we were.

I’ve been told that whenever we have a particularly large edition, I mention that fact in my editorial. So here it goes: this is a really big edition. Like really, really big.

This is the biggest edition that any of the editorial have worked on, with more than double the usual content. And we managed while a little short-staffed. I find this quite impressive and I’m super proud of both the editorial and their teams.

This is especially because the last time we attempted a large edition was last year, and then it was only 24 pages. At the time we said we’d never do a 24-pager again. In a way, I guess we haven’t. We went further than that.

Read more: “Never again,” we said. How naive we were.

Let’s love local

Last Wednesday the SABC made a surprising announcement that was met with mixed reactions but an overwhelming sense of excitement. As of last Thursday, the SABC’s 18 radio stations all committed to playing content that is 90% local. The idea behind this is that radio stations stick to their usual genres but play local rather than international music in that genre.

What this decision has done is create immense support for our local music industry. Local music is immediately given a strong upper hand in the competition against international music. With frequent radio play, exposure and sales become more of a reality and this will allow local artists to live successfully off the income of their music, rather than having to have an extra job or bow out of the industry completely.

Read more: Let’s love local

Time for the truth

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.

Read more: Time for the truth

Celebrate with us

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.

Read more: Celebrate with us

Celebrating the end (and the lack of it)

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.

Read more: Celebrating the end (and the lack of it)

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