Editorials Comment

EDITOR'S OPINION: "The Hatchling's First Cry"

Michael Maitland-Jones on the values of Comment.

As the newest arrival to the Comment section, I feel very flattered to have been given the chance to write this edition’s editor’s note; it’s the chance for me to finally throw off the veil and give everyone the big sexy exposé on my true thoughts and opinions as a student journalist they’ve naturally been craving. All that being said if you’ve never heard of me, then some context:

I’ve been a part of Nouse for almost two years now, getting my first role when I stumbled into a by-election for the deputy sub-editor role. Having given a fairly lame speech, I was told that I’d got the role and began work on the paper later that month; in the time since, I’ve occupied four other editorial roles in Nouse and written for a few other publications on and off campus.

Seeing that I’ve whored myself out for literally every other student publication under the York umbrella (minus Vision of course, there are some things I won’t do) you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m a bit fickle when it comes to student media.  Nouse has, however, always been where my heart lies; I think the original writing talent and journalistic integrity that the paper nurtures places it above the multitude of other publications out there and, in my opinion, no other section exemplifies this better than Comment. You may think that myself and my fellow Comment editors Matthew, Maisie and Jonny may look like your average bunch of offensively dressed humanities students, haplessly playing at being newspaper hacks, but quite frankly I’m getting tired of the unoriginal labeling.

Opinion pieces are the kind of thing that can get a bad rap from the type you might see in the average tabloid (normally some kind of shitty, venomous diatribe about a D-list celebrity’s private life) but I think the best pieces in a Comment section can be the sort that are actually conducive to an intelligent discussion and bring an awareness to important issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug. I don’t think this should be just limited to just having yet another hot take on Brexit or the President’s latest 5am twitter fuck-up; culture and technology are just as important to Comment as anything else. All of this is a very long winded way of saying that if someone’s telling you that you have to be closely informed on the British parliamentary situation to write a Comment piece then screw them.

In a day and age where apathy or just plain indifference can threaten to become the general mind-set in regard to current affairs and culture, I think that the Comment section provides a crucial outlet for people to vent their feelings on issues as diverse as they may be. It’d be moronic for me to say that I agree with all the opinions put in our Comment section, but I believe all serve a purpose in widening the discourse on some of the most pressing problems today; if the news tells us what’s happening then Comment perhaps provides some reasons as to just why you should care about it.

The pieces you’ll see in this issue of Comment reflect a brilliant cross-section of subject matter, focusing on what’s happening across the world, in the UK, and on campus itself. If the prospect of intelligent debate seems to be dwindling with every over-sensationalized scandal stemming from the world of current affairs, it’s good to see that Comment, at least, still has something rational to offer.

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