Käthe Lemon: 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?

1) In this era of truthiness and #fakenews we need readers and writers who think critically about information — the Martlet produces both.

2) The media landscape is quicksand beneath our feet — we need writers who write for their communities out of passion and interest and will stick with it.

3) The Martlet is an experiment in form and function. Between those walls and pages there have been, and hopefully ever will be, debates about what should appear on the pages, and also how stories should be selected and created, who should get to decide what’s newsworthy, who can have a voice and what the media is for. Those experiments are a great training and also help change the media that Martleteers go on to work for. The fact that it’s an experiment, each year renewed, that could go horribly wrong gives the whole thing an urgency and relevance that a class assignment never can.

4) The Martlet has been a training ground for writers, editors and media production staff and also for activists, union organizers, politicians and engaged citizens.

5) No other “work” experience will better teach you how to hold (or hold off on) your liquor.

6) As the student experience has become ever-more fragmented with more and more students working part-time or even full time, the Martlet provides a unifying experience for readers and a community for its creators.

7) It’s fun.

— Käthe Lemon; Martlet volunteer 1997-2002, arts editor 1998-99; currently Editor-in-Chief, Avenue magazine

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