‘Impossible to choose’
We’ve had so many great articles this term that I found it impossible to choose just one! My particular highlights were Iseult de Mallet Burgess’ piece ‘Gender Abolition: Why it matters’, Isobel Lewis’ article ‘Pitch: 1, Parliament: 0’, Bethan Draycott’s article ‘Oxford University and the alienation of working students’, and Ish Duncan’s piece ‘THE NAME GAME – A Personal Reflection on the ‘Transtrenderism’ Trend’. All four pieces combined great writing, original thought, and a unique voice behind the article; some were bravely personal, others acerbic and witty. Together I think they sum up the best aspects of student journalism.
Editing Cherwell’s Comment Section has been a privilege, made such by the great talent of the student journalists who write for us. A piece which struck me was Ciara Garcha’s This is England: Football and the Nation, which assessed the intrinsic social links between support for the national football team and nationalism. Ciara carefully traced the origins of this ‘disease’ back to the 1970s and 1980s, with tragic events such as the Heysel disaster. The article intelligently differentiated between the intentions of Southgate’s ‘embracement of diversity’ at the head of the national team, but recognised a failure to ‘map onto society at large’, as revealed by the racist events after the Euro 2021 final. In the process, Ciara Garcha powerfully juxtaposes ideals of Englishness with their corresponding realities, proving that such an ideal is simply too ‘far removed from reality’.
Of all the incredible articles we’ve had this term, I have two comment highlights – Ciara Garcha’s piece which was published in our MT21 first week edition, and Isobel Lewis’ article from third week. Ciara’s argument was both powerful and eye-opening – I had no idea of the extent of the efforts being made to find a ‘cure’ for autism, and the support these attempts have from a whole host of celebrities in the UK. The personal nature of the piece just added to the impact, especially her point that autism is a part of identity in exactly the same way as features such as eye colour. Isobel’s article managed to be both hilarious and serious at the same time – exposing the failures of our politicians in a light hearted manner. My only complaint was that she reminded me of THAT video of Matt Hancock!
In the comment section, we receive a wide variety of passionate pieces and through editing them I not only engaged with issues outside of my immediate interests, but I found connections with another student writers. I enjoyed reading and editing ‘The Problem with Criminal Biopics’ by Olanrewaju Ajidagba because of its captivating argumentative narrative style. The piece looks at the problematic glorification of criminals in popular culture by opening with a deconstruction of the notorious Pablo Escobar and discusses the current issues surrounding Nigerian fraudster and influencer, ‘hushpuppi’. This article was also a great reminder of the wealth of international connections among our student body, which the comment section frequently showcases.