Hannah Howroyd ’13
Maybe it’s due to the age-old collegiate dilemma of procrastination mixed with the availability of a parent’s HBO account (broke undergrad here) but I’ve been watching a lot The Newsroom lately and it has gotten me thinking: is what we are reading holistic, enriching or in anyways untainted? Aaron Sorkin may be talking nation-wide, even universal, in his call to arms for a return to respectable reporting; however this message can hit as close as Huxley Ave. This special edition of “Tangents & Tirades” has a simple message to on-campus publications: REPORT THE NEWS.
Colleges used to be a hotbed for social change. The preceding collegiate generation of our parents saw active and influential roles in the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War protests, and general hunger for reform. Now what is newsworthy? Of what is it that the average PC student should be well-read? Look no further than the front page of The Cowl to find a salient article on Tinder (Tinder?! Really, Cowl?! ). In today’s day and age “bursting the PC bubble” is now only capable via a steamy iPhone app. Students’ exodus from campus and interaction with the world outside PC gates can only be actualized with essentially a “hot or not” game?
I know that there is no journalism degree offered here; and for most of The Cowl’s staff writing is a passion project where—and I can respect this—long uncredited hours are spent. And I’m not expecting any Pulitzer-Prize-in-Journalism ambitions here. But wouldn’t these long hours be better utilized for something other than fluff?
As many of you who follow Friarside Chats are well aware, there has been much controversy and ensuing dialogue surrounding an article from last week’s Cowl publication. Though I believe Nick Wallace got it right as a “swing and a miss,” I can applaud the original piece for at least stepping up to the plate. My tirade here lies not in the fact that the publication started a forum on diversity— a rather pertinent topic at PC nowadays—but in the limited scope of perspectives such vital matters are explored through. When there is a two (or more) sided discussion, it tends to be carried out in a multi-week hostile dialectic in which one side consistently gets to speak first (with larger word limits and graphics for that matter). The opposing view’s arsenal is limited to a letter to the editor.
With such power comes great responsibility. As the body at the helm of campus media, you should encourage discussion, foster a debate, and pose questions that force us PC students to reevaluate our apathy. Don’t reinforce the insularity, insouciance, and torpor that PC currently generates.
-End of rant-