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By Winie Coulanges, Contributor. May 2024

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Letter from the Editor

By Mirren Bodanis, Editor-in-Chief.

May 2024

People often wonder, “why is all the news bad?” The explanation is usually given that “bad news makes more profit” or that “it gets more people watching,” and perhaps that is true. But personally within us Journalists (or at very least, myself) there is a third reason. Journalism informs, but it does not create. It does not give, it does not invent, it does not mobilise, and it does not forgive. The part I’ve grown to find the most difficult in this work is the work it avoids. To journal is to distance. By writing about something in this medium, one is separating themselves from it. I, the writer, and it are different. It does, and I tell. The nature of the work requires that I do not participate in what is covered. “You must always remain impartial,” say the Institutions that have power over us. If reporting on protests, we musn’t protest, if reporting on a business, we musn’t do the business ourselves, if reporting on fighters, we cannot fight, if reporting on lovers, I cannot love. The Plant is a student paper; we must report on topics relevant to students. And yet, ironically, we are expected to not act as part of them. How is this possible? It is not possible. Within every journalist is a human. As humans, we cannot separate ourselves from our shared pain, joy, excitement, naiveté, intuition or persuadability; our nature. We can be a little closer, a little farther, but never separate. Humans want to be a force against bad. And yet Journalists are not supposed to be any force, just a documenter of them. So the third reason is this: It’s a fear that to report on Good News, we’ll have to accept that we’re not a part of it. Or, really, a part of anything. The field of journalism is built on a paradox that says that it is good to report, but requires that when the Goodness is reported on, we do not become it. Is it even possible to do so? It is not. Because as humans we cannot separate ourselves from our forces of good, of bad, of change that make Humanity. It is an impossibility for a living Journalist to separate themselves from life. Are we ready to accept that? Are we able to accept that? What are we believing in when we choose to repent the intertwinedness of our hearts and souls? I believe it’s The Plant’s duty to continue to ask that question… And now for some credits. Sanad. Thank you. I do not know the right words to describe the ways I am grateful for you. As the other Editor-in-Chief, as a friend, and as a teacher. The Plant wouldn’t be what it is without you. You have taught me so much. You have helped me change so much; I would not be the right person for this role if it wasn’t for you. You have sacrificed so much for all of us, and never have you not been there for us. Never have you shown fear. You have shown me what it looks like when someone truly pours their soul into what they believe. I look up to you every time we work together. …What choices do we make when people are dying? What do we write when their stories are ignored? What do we say when it’s easier to be silent? What do we fight for when it feels like we’ll lose? Who do we talk to when we know they won’t listen? How do we make joy when we feel sorrow? How do we make peace when we feel violence? How do we make energy when we are so drained? How do we face our fear of life when death seems so certain? How do we face a fear of Revolution when the comfort status quo is wrapped around us like a blanket, nay, a straightjacket, nay a noose? Being able to blind myself from the fear of posing myself these questions is a privilege that poisons those around me. It rusts the heart of those brave enough to dismantle the machine that seeks to replace life. I have learned that it is my duty to start living answers. Thank you to all of the wonderful staff here. You are all stunning, and have brought so much to this school. And thank you to you: the incredible readers, and to the beautiful everyone for taking the past year to teach us all we have learned. I hope to keep learning when I see you all next semester. The Plant thanks you for your love, and wishes that your summer brings change for the good. -Mirren

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