The front page of this week’s Justice has, as its lead article, a story about the Constitutional Review Committee’s final report. The article is well-written, comprehensive, and informative, and it’s accompanied by a nice, eye-catching picture. The problem is that I don’t think anyone cares.
The CRC is one of those topics that’s only interesting to the very small minority of students who follow the Union closely. Its meetings were held behind closed doors, its mission is basically just a reshuffling of the Union government, and even the best changes it proposes will measurably affect only a small percentage of the campus community. You don’t have to take my word for it; in same issue’s ‘Brandeis Talks Back’ section, all four of the students they interview express complete apathy to the process. Yes, the report is significant enough to merit coverage, but does it really deserve its front page status?
Meanwhile, you’d have to turn to page 5 of the paper to learn that a potential hate crime occurred on the Brandeis campus this weekend. The newly-refurbished Muslim Student Association suite was viciously vandalized on Friday. The wall in Imam Talal Eid’s office was permanently damaged, and his personal copy of the Quran was stolen. The nature of the theft makes it hard to view this as anything but an attack against campus Muslims, and it absolutely sickens me to think that such a vile invasion could happen at the school I call home. But apparently, it’s worth only one-sixth of a page buried in the News section, next to a full page of advertisements.
During Diana Aronin’s impeachment and trial, many people complained about the petty disagreements that the Union officers turned into a public spectacle. I agree with them, but the campus media need to be held culpable as well for turning what should have been an internal Union affair into a weekly front-page spectacle. If our Union government suffers from self-importance, it is only because they’re used to getting undue attention for every minor issue. Meanwhile, the papers will continue to alienate their readers if they glorify topics that are ultimately irrelevant for most students. I suspect that students are far more interested in uncovering hate on our campus than on how big the Union Senate will be next year, and I think the every campus media outlet needs to reassess what its reporting priorities should be.