From the editor
// Giles Roy

In my first editorial, I purposefully kept it short because I wanted new students (almost half of our readers) to judge us on our ongoing body of work rather than a first impression. Now that all of our issues are out there, and that this is our last issue, I have too much to say.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_zV9PJoRvhgM/S7Z4kETQAbI/AAAAAAAABvk/LcL0nsTANjM/1337b01282fe536bc08989fa79cf7db5.jpgPerhaps I can summarize the year with an ancient Persian fable. It's about a farmer who was kicked off his land by the government and walked his goat and a cow to town to find a job. As he was walking, he looked back and realized that his cow has been stolen. He asked a stranger to watch his goat as he searched for his cow. He didn't find it, and when he returned, he realized the stranger had made off with his goat as well. Immediately, he broke down and cried until a kind woman asked him what the problem was. After he explained, she told him that he was in luck because she saw a man try to hide his goat past a river in a cave. The man removed his clothes to swim into the river, but halfway through, he realized he'd been had, as he saw the woman take off with his clothing. From that day on the man, could be found swinging sticks violently in random directions, and when passerbys would ask why, he'd respond: “I lost my livelihood, my food, my clothes and everything I own to the dishonesty of others... If I'm not too careful, someone may soon steal me.”

If that analogy was too loose for you, let me explain: Almost every day after I wake up, I attempt to read around 200 news stories. It's not as hard as it sounds, as you soon realize that many stories repeat each other and you can skim for the important bits. Other times, the story is right in the headline (“Car crashes into mall”) and I don't need to read the rest of the story. My next task is to consider what needs to be focused on more. That is, I find out the topic of the day and then have to not write about it. We're an alternative media outlet that has the luxury to cover issues that may not “sell” but rather “inform.” Such is the case with our special feature on Rwanda – while the Vancouver media wasn't looking, a massive debate broke out in front of thousands of Vancouverites on the current state of Rwanda. I'll let Samantha's article explain further.

But just as the man who loses his possessions to the dishonesty of others, a lot of the stories we write are bound to get stolen by the mainstream narrative of the rest of the media. If we try to introduce a new narrative, we fight against a hive mentality pushing the traditional narrative. Just as the Persian man gets distracted by one stolen narrative, someone takes advantage of the distraction by pushing a new one. We're left not as revolutionaries but as revisionists of a public sentiment.

Sometimes I find myself stuck in the media hype as well – without seeing the bigger picture. Sometimes I find myself caught in a heated argument that I don't want to be engaged in because it's missing the bigger picture.

That's why it's time to wave my sticks around in case anyone tries to 'steal me.' I'm going off to finish a Masters degree in journalism and arm myself with more theoretical analysis on the state of journalism.

Luckily, I've had the pleasure of being part of a staff who shared, understood and challenged some of these issues. I'd like to thank my co-editor Kevin Murray for having my back and supporting me when most needed. And I'd also like to thank Natalie Corbo, Mike Kennedy, Sam MacDonald, Mac Fairbarn, Taylor Omelak, Giles Roy, Tianyi Bao, Samantha Thompson, Sarah Vitet, and Shannon Elliott – some of them will stay and others will move on, but their contributions were all valuable to the quality of this paper. Lastly, I'd like to thank you, the reader, for seeking stories that no one else covers.

//Alamir Novin, editor-in-chief

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com