Gemma Karstens-Smith: Why do we need the Martlet?

Alumni Testimonials

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 have the Martlet to thank for my career in journalism. It’s the place where I learned about crafting ledes, laying out pages, asking tough questions. It’s where I made friends who supported me and opened doors for me. It’s where I made mistakes.

The Martlet is a vital training ground for budding journalists, but that’s only one of its roles. It’s also a community paper, not just for UVic, but Victoria as a whole. The Martlet informs, entertains and holds people accountable. In an age of shrinking media, the paper’s importance is increasingly amplified. Victoria needs the Martlet as much as the Martlet needs the support of the community.

Countless journalists currently working around the world got their start in the SUB basement, slaving away over hot computers on endless production nights. Today’s CEO’s, doctors and politicians got their first taste of fame in the paper’s pages. The Martlet is a launchpad – one that needs to stay healthy and strong for many decades to come.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, former Martlet EIC and current reporter for The Canadian Press

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