Shandi Shiach: 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?

I was invited to join the Martlet by various emissaries to my first-year journalism and related courses, but it wasn’t until I began volunteer copyediting that I truly grasped the value our student press offered to me, specifically. Sitting timidly on a newsroom couch, quietly enjoying the thrill of reading advance proofs before everyone else knew the news and controversies of the week, I caught snippets of office debate and discovered the many skills and talents displayed by Martlet staffers of the day. It helped me recognize what I didn’t know, gave me leads on what areas of professional development I needed to pursue to prepare myself for the task ahead of running an editorial staff in my later terms as an editor.

Volunteering, working as a reporter and editor, and later looking back on the Martlet has also given me immeasurable transferable experience. I’ve used the practice I gained at the paper –checking bias, researching, engaging with diverse people and problems, and constantly re-evaluating the value of my contributions to those I serve — in many career moves since. In those endeavours, my belief in the power of independent journalism to challenge systemic disadvantage is consistently reaffirmed. Again and again, I meet people whose hope for the future, damaged by lack of faith in the justice system or innumerable hardships, is renewed by the prospect of social change through investigative journalism, muckraking, and youth entrepreneurship. I sincerely hope this opportunity exists, through the Martlet, for generations to come.

Shandi Shiach, Volume 66 Editor-in-Chief. 


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