Opinions

A brief history, told in present tense

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Student journalism is the last bastion of free speech.

You can print anything in a student newspaper, with only one condition: you have to be right or at least be able to prove you're not wrong.

We've all seen the results of big business in the media from the scandals at CBS news to our very own Calgary daily papers; moguls controlling the media, advertisers deciding what is newsworthy.

At a campus paper you can criticize an advertiser without the fear of being fired. And if you did, what's the difference? You're not being paid anyway. But payment isn't really why you're there.

At a campus paper, you critically examine a story and expose the ugly truths about the your institution and the world. You take nothing at face value. The U of C Gazette (a division of U of C public relations) for example, would not run a feature about Shell Oil's involvement in Nigeria simply because Shell Oil gives this university a dump truck full of money. These are the people that take press-release, double-plus-good journalism to dizzying heights. They will give you nothing, no balance, no questions asked. Pick one up and compare.

Campus papers exist in an environment where creative spirit shines--university. And the Gauntlet is full of the most altruistic newspaper people you will ever find. We haven't had time to become addicted to easy solutions or hackneyed storylines.

In this stale city, we run Canada's largest weekly student paper.

And in this stale city, with its strange boosterism, we are the only publication that acts as a forum for students issues. We are the only paper which consistently reports on student issues.

We criticize the administration of this school, which controls your education. We report on the Students' Union, which spends your money. We cover the bands that, if you haven't already, you will definitely hear from. We follow the Dinos, who are your friends and classmates. Simply, we are your student newspaper.

The Gauntlet has officially received 12 letters since the end of last school years, only one has had anything to do with university policy and it came from Kamloops. And yes the letters pour in when we print the obviously insane ramblings of some reader. Last week, we also printed Pulitzer Prize worthy photographs of an East Timor Massacre. How many readers were shocked by them? We don't know, we haven't heard anything about it.

We want your input on the issues that effect your lives.

We devote ourselves to the hard questions, worthy stories and the most interesting sports, entertainment and features in the city of Calgary. Many weeks, we are this city's largest independent weekly, but it means nothing if apathy overwhelms the very people we are trying to inform.

We your advocate for student rights. We are a forum for alternative ideas. We are your paper.

If you have fire in your belly, we can use you.

You are holding a tale of history told in present tense and an opportunity to become part of it.

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