By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
A couple weeks ago, our paper had the privilege of attending NASH, an annual student journalism conference held by the Canadian University Press (CUP). I’ve been to a couple NASH conventions in the past and each one has always facilitated fond memories. The things I’ve learned from the panels and speakers have always given me great insight and advice I can use for multiple career opportunities in the future. The bonding with some the people you only really see once a week, the new friends you make, and the late nights talking and groggy early mornings attending more panels are another added value of the amazing conference.
I’ve been to three NASH conventions now, and surprisingly there’s always something new to learn. Some panels and speakers I wasn’t very interested in before talked about things I’m not directly involved or really interested in doing—things like photojournalism and true crime reporting—ended up being my favourite. My favourite speaker by far was Vancouver based celebrity interviewer Nardwuar who had a lot of comedic anecdotes about his experiences interviewing different celebrities and some great videos to show with them.
NASH has always taught me a lot and given me great experiences, and this time was no different. However, I feel that I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. Maybe it’s because this is my third NASH and some of the topics they discuss have become redundant and hard to listen to because I’ve heard it already. Mainly, I think it’s just because I’ve changed since my last NASH and I don’t agree with many of the things most of the speakers spoke on.
For instance, there were some speakers who made some points
that I disagreed with. One speaker stated that newspapers need to pick a side,
and another made a comment about some newspapers using free speech as a guise
for nationalism—both points which I disagree with and believe that there needs
to be room to debate on. For journalism especially, I believe free speech is something
we should need to value in this industry. It is what allows us to express ourselves
and keep getting creative with our ideas. Sure, free speech has its downsides
and sometimes we hear things we really don’t want to hear… but that’s the
necessary price we pay to ensure all ideas get a fair chance. Journalism wouldn’t
be what it is today without free speech, and while the conference was amazing
as usual, I find this to be an important flaw to discuss.