David Karp: Why do we need the Martlet?

As part of the Martlet 70 Fundraiser, we’ve asked former Martlet staff to answer an important question: why do we need the Martlet?

The Martlet is one of the best learning experiences that UVic has. It’s not just journalism: it teaches self-confidence, how to question authority and how to communicate ideas.

The paper’s corner of the SUB basement was my second home for five years, where I formed strong friendships that I still treasure today. I met my roommate, who became one of my best friends, at the Martlet. The MC at my wedding was a staff writer from the Martlet. When I made a highly unsuccessful bid to become UVic Idol, my singing coach was the Martlet arts editor.

We spent many late nights together copy editing and laying out pages while snacking on stale pizza. We socialized together, went to conferences together. We gossiped, argued and debated together; clashed with the student union and campus administration; made mistakes and endured public criticism together; fought the occasional libel suit. It was a team effort.

I majored in economics, where we specialize in theories and equations, but often fail to communicate the essence of what we uncover. The skills I learned at the Martlet have made me a better economist. My colleagues went on to become not only journalists and writers but lawyers, public servants and entrepreneurs. Undoubtedly, the skills they picked up at the Martlet helped them too.

In a world where print media is slowly dying, the Martlet provides a critical lens on the University of Victoria and student issues that are overlooked by the mainstream media. It provides a youthful perspective on the news and a voice for students who wouldn’t otherwise be heard. For 70 years, students have excitedly anticipated Thursdays when the Martlet makes its appearance around campus. May it continue its important role for 70 more.

David Karp volunteered or worked at the Martlet from 2004/05 to 2008/09, including as editor-in-chief in 2007/08

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