The last few weeks have not been easy for the College Tribune. The impeachment of Katie Ascough marked a historic occasion for UCDSU politics as a whole but it also brought some nastiness along with it on both sides.
The Trumpian accusations of media bias #fakenews from the No side sparked quite a lot of controversy and led to two of the sabbatical officers defending both papers in their open letters. This marks a change in policy in the SU who normally can’t wait to see the back of the College Tribune. That being said, it should be down to sabbatical officers to defend student media.
What we have learned from this campaign is that the age of social media has radically changed how people see news. One side of the campaign sees an article online that a paper writes and happily share it on their campaign page. The next article they see from the same paper is something that’s bad for their campaign and the first thing they cry is ‘media bias’. This is not how media works. Our job is to hold our SU to account regardless of our own personal views. That is what the College Tribune did throughout the campaign and what we’ll continue to do for the rest of the year regardless of who is in charge.
The price that we have to pay for mistakes that have been made is quite costly. The cost of running this referendum and the campaign for a new president only adds to the €7,000 already wasted from the reprint. I fully believe in the democratic process that was enacted by students but it is a shame that it’s cost so much to get us here. You cannot reclaim the cost and you cannot reclaim the lost time either. The SU has been stagnant for close to a month now and will have a hard time of it making that up to students.
The constant controversy surrounding the sabbatical officers will no doubt have hardened them. I just hope that they’ll be as effective as they promised in their campaigns all those months ago.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor