The Student
Opinion
A plea for student journalism
by Millie Lord, 5/04/21

This is a plea, from an outgoing Deputy EiC, to support student journalism. Now, more than perhaps any other time in recent years, the university needs to be held accountable. In the past year the university has failed to support student mental health, charged us full price for severely limited online learning, profited off student accommodation, been unwilling to tackle racism and sexual violence on campus, cancelled graduations, bragged about incomplete fossil fuel divestment and more. 

It has been a difficult year for everyone, and students are not alone in being abandoned by the institutions that are meant to support us, but, unlike other groups, our advocates seem to be thin on the ground. 

I am obviously biased, as someone deeply involved with The Student, but it is imperative that we do not let student journalism slip away.  It is already struggling – not in terms of quality but in support and engagement. Print media around the world, including some

of the most hallowed names in journalism, are struggling to keep up with online media and shortened attention spans, let alone small student-led initiatives.

The role of journalism is to hold the powerful to account, and to punch up. We are trying our hardest to make sure that the university does not get away with all the shit that they try to do for profit. We ourselves also have to keep up with the times, and make our own changes, but we cannot do this without your support.

When students remain ignorant of the abuses of power undertaken by the university and the government, those in power are emboldened to do the same again and again. Universities are meant to serve students, and this seems to have been lost in the last few decades. Unless students put pressure on the university, our wellbeing and moral standards will continue to be neglected in favour of profit and convenience.

This is why we need student journalism. We need to be monitoring the university, ensuring it lives up to its promises and does not take us, the reason it exists, for granted, just because of its Russell Group status. Student politics, of course, has its role to play too, but is useless unless we have the information of what is going wrong. Good student journalism provides this, however, we cannot survive without support from the student body.

To remain in print, and to retain quality reporting, we need income, which is currently reliant on advertising. Please continue to read and engage with our content, and to support us in challenging the university where it missteps. You may not notice our presence now, but you will sorely miss if we fade away.