A word about election coverage
For your average student, week three means the first assignments are starting to trickle in and “the first few lectures are always just useless admin stuff” is starting to seem a less and less plausible reason to skip an 8am lecture.
For a dedicated band of student politicians—”hacks” if you will—the maturation of semester 2 brings on the start of election season, with the first administrative hurdle, the nomination deadline, coming at the end of this week.
As you might imagine, Parkville Station will be casting a keen eye on proceedings. Given the occasionally fractious world of student politics, we wanted to take an opportunity to explain how we’ll be covering the elections before diving into the fray.
We believe you should vote (or make a considered decision not to), rather than just let the opportunity pass by. As believers in democracy, we think that voters simply having enough information about all the candidates and their tickets (political parties) is sufficient to produce the right result.
Information is a currency sorely lacking in student elections — despite more than 40,000 students being eligible to vote, student elections tend to attract less media coverage than even the smallest local government election. We hope to redress that.
Nevertheless, being an effective conduit of information requires us to exercise editorial judgment on what information we present, how we present that information, and what opinion pieces we decide to publish in these pages. Our intent is to treat candidates equitably, but not necessarily equally.
Some information, particularly concerning the administration of the election such as dates, times, places and lists of candidates, does deserve the be presented in a completely neutral manner: and where we publish that, we will do so without fear or favour to particular candidates.
But the meat of what we publish will require us to make value judgments in what we present to you, our readers; accordingly, we encourage people (candidates and otherwise) to write to us to present particular opinions, and where reasonable, we will publish them.
Although we are usually perfect and make errors of neither fact nor judgment, we’re committed to publishing corrections to anything we get wrong, both online and in print. We encourage parties, interested or otherwise, to report errors to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the interests of full disclosure, Parkville Station editor Patrick Clearwater was a candidate for the More Activities! ticket in three UMSU elections.