Throughout my years at Yale, I have been a witness to the ongoing discontent of the general Yale student body with the campus publications. Dubbed a “wannabe journalistic publication,” the News, as the most circulated of the publications, is the target for verbal assaults from many at Yale and beyond. In all honesty, at many times I was part of the enthusiastic crowd deriding the News for many of its failures.
But as a student currently studying abroad at University of Sydney in Australia, I have come to realize how professional and efficient the Yale campus publications truly are.
After speaking with the editors of Honi Soit, the only campus newspaper here (and a weekly) and reading the past issues, I was appalled by the amateurish and careless attitude the editors have taken with their so-called “student journalism.”
At the risk of angering these “student journalists,” I want to candidly point out that the so-called newspaper they produce closely resembles a third-rate tabloid in appearance, and can make the News look like The New York Times in content. I cannot express in words my disappointment after initially hoping to keep a meaningful regular column in the school newspaper.
Of course, I am certainly not glowingly patronizing the Yale newspapers. I know as well as many other Yalies that there are many problems with the campus publications, and it is our responsibility as discerning readers to directly point out those problems so they can corrected. But my experience with Honi Soit should be a reminder to all that the existence of the entire network of publications, from the News and the Herald to Rumpus and the Record, that has allowed Yale students to express their individual voices on practically all issues, should not be simply taken as a given. Many other universities, both at home and abroad, do not have such a luxury for their students.
Thus, while we severely criticize Yale publications for failures, we should also stop to admire and appreciate the same publications that have enabled our criticisms to be heard throughout the Yale campus and beyond.
The writer is a junior in davenport College currently studying abroad.