Comment Editor's Opinion: History of Comment


Molli Tyldesley reflects on the history and the future of Nouse in the 500th print edition

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Image by Molli Tyldesley

By Molli Tyldesley

As I’m sure you have noticed by now, this isn’t just any edition of Nouse – it’s the 500th print edition. Every time we publish an edition of this paper, we create something new and unique. We address issues that are happening on campus and across the world in the current moment.

However, we are also part of history, adding to a legacy of student journalism that goes back to the 1960s, when many of our parents were born. Since 1964, Nouse has been holding the University, the Students Union and other institutions to account, as well as giving a platform to students at the University of York.

Over the past week in the office, we’ve been reading through the old editions of Nouse from the 1960s, written by students who would be in their eighties now. In fifty years time, when we’ve retired, I hope students will be in this very same office, putting together the one thousandth print edition. It’s nice to think that in the future, the new editorial team may look back on our issues from the early 2020s and read what we’ve written!

Since the paper’s maiden issue in 1964, one of the biggest changes to the paper is the introduction of online articles. During the pandemic, the paper had to go completely online, something that (hopefully) will never be repeated. It only felt fitting, then, that this edition’s Clash of Comments should concern whether print media or online media is better. Personally, I do get a lot of my news online, as I’m sure most of us do. But I love reading the print editions of Nouse, and as an English Literature student, I don’t think I will ever turn away from physical novels.

One thing I will miss about being both an undergraduate student and Comment Editor at Nouse is the excitement of being a student and the sense that we are able to change things. Especially as student journalists; there is a sense that through writing, we are able to hold people to account, give marginalised voices a platform and therefore make a real difference.

History shows us that students care about the big issues. Student populations are usually concentrated in one place, with spare time on their hands compared to working people and an idealistic view of the world. For these reasons, student populations are easily mobilised and are often at the forefront of protests. In recent years, students have protested against school shootings in the US, calling for stricter gun control regulations to make going to school safer. In Hong Kong, many students joined the Umbrella Protests in 2014, which sought to guarantee democratic rights for the people who live there. Around the world, students have taken to the streets in order to make governments take action on climate change, an issue which we know will impact us and the generations that follow us.

Crucially, it is this energy, hopefulness and fight for the future that we possess as students that we need to keep hold of as we grow into adulthood. If we do this, maybe our generation can change the future for the better: whether this is about human rights, climate change or social justice.

Ultimately, I believe student journalism is a great thing to be involved in. But of course I would say that, I’m writing in a student newspaper. However, if you’re reading this and considering getting involved, I would encourage you to. If for no other reason than to be part of something bigger: to be part of history, so future generations can read your writing and get a sense of the things that students cared about in 2022.