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As an English student, you’d expect that I read a lot. Unfortunately, I mostly manage to only read the set works for my subjects interspersed with the odd surfing magazine and the day’s headlines. It’s a pretty embarrassing account.
In the holidays I had a conversation with a good friend and we spent a great deal of time talking about the books he had read. He was able to talk about ideas instead of people and events. Despite feeling very ignorant and not having much to contribute, I enjoyed the conversation and learnt a lot.
In the holidays, Perdeby had two fantastic opportunities. The first was a visit to Paarl Coldset, the people that print Perdeby. They are also responsible for printing City Press, Beeld, Daily Sun, Rapport and The Witness. It made us feel quite small to compare our 10 000 weekly copies to the 400 – 500 000 copies Daily Sun prints, well, daily. I wondered why a tabloid such as Daily Sun would be so popular seeing as it isn’t known for its literary qualities. After reading through several copies, though, I took great delight in the conversational language and its entertainment value. It wasn’t a challenge to read at all.
Exam time is nearly upon us. I know many people find themselves in a constant state of mild panic around this time, and I can’t blame them. This is the time that students realise that they should have probably worked harder during the semester.
I quite enjoy exams, though. The stress is not fun, nor is the fact that they seem to mow the res grass every day while I’m trying to study, but life seems slower and, in a way, easier. It’s okay to take an hour long shower because you have at least another 23 hours in the day to study. I also enjoy spending time with friends I don’t often see in my study breaks. My calmness in this period comes from something my parents have instilled in me.
The Perdeby office is a supremely serious space of work, focus and long hours. Inevitably, this leads to the occasional lapse in mental acuity (read: brain fart). Below is a list of some of these stress fractures in the Perdeby façade.
I’m still in the process of recovering from Serrie this past week. Thirteen consecutive performances is not for the faint-hearted and having to perform at finals still locked down by day-three stiffness is not easy. What impressed me most this year, though, was that Zinnia made finals and with that made Groenkloof history as the first education campus res to ever do so.
The fact that Zinnia had achieved this struck me because of several different conversations I’ve had over the last two weeks. The first of these was a tweet by a former schoolmate of mine that said that he felt sad seeing classmates of ours that matriculated with six or more distinctions studying teaching as he thought it was a waste of talent. I called him a nasty name in my head (his statement made me angry) and then asked him why he felt that way. He explained that money and recognition was more important to him. I felt sorry for him because he’s obviously never read The Great Gatsby. If you’ve never read the book, here’s your epiphany for the week: it’s not about the number of people at your party but the number of people at your funeral. I can tell you that I won’t be attending his funeral one day, even if he had tons of money, but you can bet that I will go out of my way to attend the funerals of several of my teachers.
On Friday I said that I was going to write an editorial of this nature. I didn’t. Obviously it’s time to, though, because here I am on a Sunday night rewriting the editorial that I intended to. This decision is based on two incidents that have happened to Perdeby staff members this last week.
In light of the political schools that political parties on campus are hosting, Perdeby is jumping on the bandwagon right here to provide you with some important things to note about media. You can call it a media school, if you must.
The function of media, including Perdeby, is to inform, educate and entertain. Essentially, we need to reflect reality by being a mirror to society. We do this by providing objective information that will inform society about what is happening around them. More than that, we are the watchdog of society, ready to bark when things look suspicious. We aren’t complacent about happenings so that we can, in turn, mobilise society out of its complacency.
Perdeby is independent, and we fight hard to keep it that way. This is because our allegiance lies with the students. Perdeby is not the propaganda machine of the university. We don’t have to be nice to them if they’re not being nice to the students. Likewise, we’re not controlled by the SRC. They may be students but we don’t have to be nice to them either. We’re definitely not under the jurisdiction of any society or structure, so they can’t tell us what we’re not allowed to do if it’s well within our rights. Key to this independence is objectivity. Perdeby always strives to tell the story as it happened. This includes telling every side of the story. It’s also the reason why I don’t believe in publishing opinion pieces other than the editorial, why we won’t let anyone but a Perdeby journalist write a story, and why we have a designated “letters” section for any opinions expressed to us.