Another year, another Daily. This one was eventful, however, with a referendum that could’ve changed the landscape of campus press and the forced uprooting of the denizens of the Shatner building. Nonetheless, we made it through and were reminded of a few things that the reader, whether returning or newly-minted, should note.
McGill is a broad church. Students’ opinions are on a wide spectrum, and discussing certain topics, external or not, will cause division. This is a good thing, within reason, as divisiveness is not the enemy if it’s closely followed by an exchange of ideas in good faith. For any of this to be possible, however, campus press needs to be strong and supported by its community.
Just like its readership, the press is also diverse. The difference between the Bull&Bear and The Daily only makes their discourse richer and helps preventing dogma from taking root on campus. Whether you agree with them or not, or use their pages to wick away your chutney, every page they publish is as important as it is valuable because of the labour of love and the journalistic ideals involved in their making. After all, “journalism is the first draft of history,” and we should keep in mind that it is best to have a plurality of voices writing that draft lest we give all the space to the often-revised narrative of the victors.
The press’s duty to inform and help its community is without a doubt an arduous task, and mistakes will be made, but you shouldn’t discard the work of those learning the craft of the Fifth Estate; they are doing their best with little more guidance than gut feelings and examples laid out by others.
Our campus ecosystem only works if you participate, whether it is as a voter, a reader, a writer, an activist, or something more. Do not give in to apathy and cynicism and ask to be left to your social lives. Engage and embrace, because the kind of student society you push for now is most likely similar to what your cohort will work toward after McGill becomes a fading memory, and because everything is inherently political.
Thank you, McGill Daily, for 107 years of service, and I wish you another 100 so that you can give people like me (and perhaps also like you) meaning and direction during their stay at McGill and beyond.