Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Community

Experts in Wills, Trusts
& Estate Planning

ANU student journalists cover own election loss with aplomb

By alicerusselwallace - 10 September 2008 22

The results of the recent ANU Students’ Association Elections were released on August 28th, with a surprise result in the election of the 2009 editorial team for the ANU student newspaper, Woroni. Despite the advantages of incumbency, the sitting Woroni team (led by Annabelle Craft and Charles Prestidge-King, running as An Even Better Woroni) were defeated by newcomers Jess Lee and James Dawson, running under the Scoop ticket. Amongst the key platform points distinguishing the victorious editorial team from the incumbents was the move to a street-press format, from the current tabloid newspaper layout and content.

The election of a new Woroni team should be of interest to the news reading public, not for what these students will produce now, but for their future output. Traditionally, Woroni alumni forge successful careers in journalism, whether it be in print-media, radio or television. This local newspaper arguably acts as a training ground for the people who will be bringing you your news in but a few short years. However, given that Woroni journalists are presumably amongst our best and brightest, why is it that the publication is so damn parochial? Arguably the scope of Woroni is limited by circumstance and personalities: in the first instance, recent Woroni teams have operated with limited financial resources, since the introduction of VSU by the previous government; in the second, the framework imposed by the location of Woroni within the Students’ Association, as an electible entity, immediate limits the pool of contributors to a very particular demographic of students (ie. student politicians).

The outcomes for Woroni under the status quo are made only too clear by the article published in the paper by the current editorial team, commenting on the election of their opposition. By it’s very nature, a student publication is ideally a non-partisan organisation. However, with the editorialship of Woroni being a political prize, it is hardly surprising that we get such gems as these from the outgoing team:

    “This year [‘s election] has been no different and we successfully pushed for increased constitutional independence for Woroni in return for maintaining higher standards of journalistic integrity… so it is with no little concern that we mark the election of Jess Lee and James Dawson as the 2009 Editors of Woroni… their campaign made clear that they have no intention of providing objective or critical coverage of the activities of the Union or the Association.”

Ouch.

Whilst the tradition in Australian institutions appears to be that the editorial team of the university publication is elected, there is something to be said for a move towards the format of a society or club. If student politics were to be excluded from the equation we might see the introduction of greater diversity of opinions and content in Woroni. That all being said, the current team seem to have acquired all the political savvy they’ll need for a career in journalism, an interesting development on the new-esque Woroni website being the advertising space allocated to promoting the University of Melbourne. Whether the Woroni editorial team have immense chutzpah – or are merely wet behind the ears – is difficult to tell, but I am sure they have fine futures ahead of them.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
22 Responses to
ANU student journalists cover own election loss with aplomb
New Yeah 12:31 pm 10 Sep 08

From what I recall, the campaign platform for Lee and Dawson looked like it was written after a sunny afternoon spent in the beer garden. I’m surprised to see that they got the gig.

I thought Woroni 2008 was one of the best there’s been, at least since 1997. The only thing it lacked was an irreverant prankster in the Brendan Shanahan/Dom Krupinski (sp?) model. Otherwise I thought it was very professional.

jakez 11:55 am 10 Sep 08

Mr Evil said :

Does anyone actually read Woroni anymore?

And, as for taking it seriously…………..?

I think it has its charm. I don’t even go to ANU anymore and I still read it.

I used to go on to campus to pick up a copy but now that it’s online and (I know one of the editors I just get the pdf).

Mr Evil 11:46 am 10 Sep 08

Does anyone actually read Woroni anymore?

And, as for taking it seriously…………..?

Overheard 11:29 am 10 Sep 08

Mr Evil said :

Yawn!

WAKE UP!!!!

You can go throw your pillow and blankey down in the Hermits thread.

G-Fresh 11:26 am 10 Sep 08

Sammy said :

I’m interested, and i’m here (and there).

Neither here nor there but still interested

jakez 11:03 am 10 Sep 08

johnboy said :

“The real question is why did you post this on RiotACT? I can’t imagine the punters here are going to care for such matters.”

Well Jakez, wrong once again.

You’ve obviously got a lot to say about it, I was interested in the subject, and several other seem to be too.

Whining about editorial decisions won’t get you very far.

Which is a shame as you made a lot of other good points.

I’m clearly extremely interested as are others, however I just remember last time we talked about ANU student politics there was a great deal of gnashing of the teeth by a decent amount of people, enough to overshadow the substance of the topic. I haven’t whined about anything, let alone your editorial decisions.

I’d love to be proven wrong as this topic is right up my alley.

Sammy 10:48 am 10 Sep 08

I’m interested, and i’m here (and there).

Mr Evil 10:45 am 10 Sep 08

Yawn!

johnboy 10:29 am 10 Sep 08

“The real question is why did you post this on RiotACT? I can’t imagine the punters here are going to care for such matters.”

Well Jakez, wrong once again.

You’ve obviously got a lot to say about it, I was interested in the subject, and several other seem to be too.

Whining about editorial decisions won’t get you very far.

Which is a shame as you made a lot of other good points.

Overheard 10:25 am 10 Sep 08

alicerusselwallace said :

2) As mentioned in the article, students who write for their university paper often go on to careers in journalism. Often they become involved in student journalism in the first place as a means of building a professional portfolio. The formative years of journalists are always relevant to their work and, as The RiotACT is a news website, this may be of interest to RiotACT readers.

Or they find that 24 years later they’re still just writing pithy columns here and there for sh!ts and giggles…

Overheard, Woroni Class of 1984.

alicerusselwallace 10:20 am 10 Sep 08

1) The entire article is provided by a link in the text (“the article published in the paper by the current editorial team”);

2) As mentioned in the article, students who write for their university paper often go on to careers in journalism. Often they become involved in student journalism in the first place as a means of building a professional portfolio. The formative years of journalists are always relevant to their work and, as The RiotACT is a news website, this may be of interest to RiotACT readers.

hk0reduck 10:15 am 10 Sep 08

I think they’re advertising with University of Melbourne has something to do with this: http://www.woroni.com.au/article/229/Farrago's-Simon-Lilburn-a-total-d*ck

A bit of background on myself, I have been going to ANU for a number of years and I have never voted because I dislike student politics, the fact that they don’t seem to make a difference beyond who can throw the best O-Week and because far too much money is spent on t-shirts for self-promotion purposes.

I do however wish I had voted in the election for Woroni as it can be an interesting read, I believe it will be taking a step back towards the level of quality it was 1 to 2 years ago.

In the past Woroni’s version of “satire” has just been terrible wankery and in-jokes among the residences – “Johns boy sober on a friday night!!!!” hahahahaha, and I doubt this time it will be any different.

I hope, regardless of their political association, that this team can still act as an independent review and reports fully on the goings-on of the student association, as this is where the real laughs are to be found.

jakez 10:08 am 10 Sep 08

I’ll add the paragraphs after the paragraph you quoted:

“Aside from our personal preference for the current format, their plan to change Woroni back to a magazine and run more features and satire and less news aren’t necessarily unattractive. However, their campaign made clear that they have no intention of providing objective or critical coverage of the activities of the Union or the Association.

Not only are both Dawson and Lee personally close to the current leadership of both institutions, but they received the unprecedented and active electoral support of the successful Energize ticket. They even had an interstate National Union of Students official (and member of the right-wing ALP Unity faction) handing out flyers and sporting their shirt during election week.”

The intervention by Labor right in the Woroni election is unprecedented. At least from 2002 onwards I can personally say that no political club has attempted to directly involve themselves in the Woroni election in the manner that Energize (Labor Right) did this year. It is amazing to see a Students Association ticket endorse a particular Woroni ticket, let alone actively campaign for them.

In that climate, I think Robert (who was part of the incumbent ticket) and Tully made absolutely valid points and I think many people are concerned about whether the Students’ Association will be held to account next year. Time will tell.

The real question is why did you post this on RiotACT? I can’t imagine the punters here are going to care for such matters.

johnboy 9:51 am 10 Sep 08

On the other hand… While watching an editorial team get knifed for being honest is always ugly, and the current team finally got them online 15 years late…

I do wonder if the skills available at ANU aren’t better suited to feature writing?

Sammy 9:38 am 10 Sep 08

Great, back to the old rag. I enjoyed the current format of Woroni.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site