News that should be reported

(Sometimes) Monthly ARC Board Meeting Update

The ARC board updated their blog today after their October board meeting. There are heaps of updates that if you’re interested in ARC, you should check out.

We’re not going to talk about the updates because it would seem silly to report on what one ARC member feels is important to put in the minutes and then transfer over to the blog. There is good information in there though, which should definitely be read through thoroughly. There is zero mention of the student elections though, oddly enough.

As you probably have started to get the idea, a student-run, independent newspaper would ask the tough questions. This means asking what went wrong with the student elections. Note: there are ideas circulating to why the election results did not come out, but no one has come with an official response yet, so we will remain silent on it.

This board meeting would typically have at least one reporter assigned. The journalist’s beat would be ARC board. They would cover everything to do with the ARC board. Since they constantly cover them, they would know how it works and be better equipped to write for the local community what is going on and what changes are significant. We hope to achieve this some time in the near future. Come next school year, NewsforUNSW can be a legitimate source of news on campus. Keep talking about it to help us get it off the ground!


UNSW will not divest from fossil fuels

A well-oiled student newspaper has a large enough staff to cover all of the events. Here at NewsforUNSW, that is not the case – yet! Until then, we will surely miss a couple big stories, despite trying to cover as much as we can. While ARC student elections occupied most of the focus, more news came out UNSW’s decision concerning divestment. They decided not to divest their $50 million in fossil fuels, citing the university is not an institution with a political leaning. Instead, the economics of the university should be taken aside from the research produced. There was overwhelming support in favor of this motion.

You can read the University’s statement, here.

Below are the UNSW equities, according to a PDF linked to the university’s statement.

Courtesy of UNSW
Courtesy of UNSW

The Sydney Morning Herald’s environment editor Peter Hannam wrote the news article, UNSW’s fossil fuel stance ‘a complete failure of leadership.’ In the Australian’s higher-education recap, they say UNSW signs a Faustian pact, questioning the university’s stance: “Does this mean that Harvard or UNSW would have invested in apartheid-era South Africa? HW guesses the devil is in the detail.”

What are your thoughts on the matter? This is the case where a campus newspaper with a strong presence could post an editorial or two, which would carry a heavy say. This is the school that you pay to attend. Make your voice heard!

ARC Elections – Post Four, Tharunka Fails Students

We’re going to keep this post short, since ARC did not deliver the election results today, Tuesday, the 28th of October. According to both Activate and Voice student government parties, election results were supposed to be released today, after voting ended on Friday, the 24th of October.

Tharunka, the school’s newspaper did not report the results, because of “(sorry – some red tape means we can’t report on the elections this year.)” according to Ammy and Freya, with Tina in the editors’s letter of Volume 60, No. 13, Week 11 to Week 12, Semester 2 issue of Tharunka. The paper, normally labeled independent, scribbled out their independent label in red ink, calling themselves “University of NSW’s Independent Student Newspaper” now. Below are the images from the front cover and the inside cover editor’s letter.

Tharunka front page

Editor's letter

This is unacceptable for a student newspaper. ARC should be held accountable for election results and it is up to student community to do so. A student-run, fully independent newspaper could and would do that. Tharunka did not. And so we are left without any election results, or sufficient update.

All things journalism: a weekly rundown

A rundown on journalism this week:

There are constant calls for the importance of college journalism, whether university level journalism is important. Further, news outlets have questioned the relevance of journalism as a major and how a student newspaper works with this notion. Here’s a collection of notable pieces regarding journalism this week:

Fox News Latino reported on how in many communities, school newspapers have become the news outlet. At the University of Arizona, the school paper has now became the main voice in the local area after the fall of the Tuscan Citizen, which had been around since 1870. This is not because student journalism put them out of business, but because they could not keep up with the profit model in current journalism, unfortunately falling to the rise of online media. Luckily, there was someone to step in and fill in the role of news keeper.

Western Illinois University will celebrate their 17th annual Journalism Day. The Western Courier has the details on the event.

We all like a good rivalry. The fierce competition between the American football teams at Michigan and Michigan State University was on display this weekend. Michigan State won the game in a blowout, but the column war between the two school newspaper was probably won by the other side. Check out this great tradition of column writing between the two school’s respective student newspapers. Think what it could be like to have a column war with the University of Sydney’s paper, Honi Soit, over an annual rugby match.

Salon reporter Andrew O’Hehir provides an informative and provocative read on the idea of journalism as a profession. He asks, “Is the primary role of journalism as a social institution to discover the truth as best it can and raise the level of public discourse, or to preserve its own power and prestige and privilege?” He then goes onto discuss the cases of investigative reporters, the outcasted and now past, Garry Web and the highly-debated James Risen. Any discussion of the integrity of journalism is not complete without a thorough look at investigative journalism, perhaps the backbone of the profession.

The SCTimes asks how important is a university degree, particularly in a profession that may not have required a degree in years past – like journalism.

The Red and Black, an independent student newspaper, covers the journalism symposium at the University of Georgia, its 36th annual McGill Lecture. The guest lecturer was Antonio Mora, the host of “Consider This” on Al Jazeera America. He spoke on the importance of broadcast journalism.

A columnist at the heralded student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, advocates for a return to the school’s campus newspaper subscription for the likes of The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and USA Today. She concludes her strong piece: “Newspapers can serve a wide array of functions for different individuals. I don’t know what happened with our subscriptions but I do know now that it was a gift to NU students to have these three newspapers handy. Bring back our newspapers.



Medical Marvel by UNSW Professor

There’s big news on campus, or at least there should be. UNSW Conjoint Associate Professor Kumud Dhital performed a world first: two successful heart transplants using organs that had stopped beating prior to donation. Both patients are reported to feeling well. Read what UNSW newsroom had to say about the accomplishment, here

A proper student newspaper would report on this. It surely would not settle for a release from UNSW newsroom, although this is a good source for information in lieu of a satisfactory news outlet. What NewsforUNSW can do is report on these events. Ask important questions. Talk to Mr. Dhital and ask him the story behind this fascinating accomplishment. As an associate professor at UNSW, he is a part of the community and therefore a part of the news. What questions would you have asked Dhital? Comment below with your thoughts. 

ARC Elections – Post Three

The elections are over and the results come are expected to come in Tuesday. According to both campaigns, it was the most highly contested elections in UNSW history. Hopefully that means many students came out and voted. In all likelihood, that means a small percentage of the student body voted as usual, but it was just slightly higher and tighter margins between parties’ candidates.

The good news is people turned out for the elections and are getting excited about it. What could make the UNSW ARC elections even better would be students being informed about the candidates. It should not come down to a pressure at the last minute – whimsical voting that determines big outcomes. A strong student newspaper can do that. NewsforUNSW is here to correct that. This year, we’re focusing on getting our name out there to see how people feel about student news. Next year, we hope to have a news team that can cover these elections and all things UNSW.

Here are two of the most recent Facebook posts from both campaigns regarding their respective campaigns.


ARC Elections – Post Two

ARC elections continued on Thursday. If you could not tell, you probably were not on campus – because it would be awfully difficult to find out what is going on without being in the middle of it all. NewsforUNSW is here to give you a small recap. If you have anything to add, comment below! Journalism is about the community getting involved, so get involved!

In brief:

Thursday Activate was back out on the campaign trail, after a one day suspension. They covered campus in an attempt to makeup for lost time, showing full force in numbers to rally back. Voice was also active on campus to persuade students to vote and vote their way. Most supporters of respective parties say their goal is to get people to vote. With turnout historically low, it is a game to see who can garner up the most new voters. Friday marks the last day for elections.