Monday, 27 May 2013

Leader Comment: Et Cetera, Et Cetera

In a well-intentioned attempt at giving ambitious students a voice through the publication of a school magazine, the school has surpassed itself in making a mockery of itself. The avidly awaited first issue was printed and distributed to students in the last week before the half term holiday. The magazine, christened ETC by the editorial team, features a menagerie of sh**ty and bland articles supposedly meant to entertain us to the next fun filled installment of crap to hit year rooms across the school. Upon looking at this travesty of literature and media, I couldn't help but ask my self a few questions as to why it has failed as a school magazine. Questions such as: Why are articles of such poor quality when students of the school actually have much better writing skills? Why are articles out of touch from the actual student consensus? Why is it being funded by the school? And why, oh why, does it contain a fan fiction concerning the latest teen wet dream, One Direction? As much as it pains me to criticise an honest effort of producing creative media by fellow students of our school, I must do. Because it was our institution that has caused this failure.
The choice of material that the editorial team specified to be the general content of the magazine is what has failed the magazine. In the "editor's letter" on the first page the editorial team divulge that they wished not to publish articles discussing internal school events, yet "should also include articles on external events". This is what makes the magazine so dull and bland, as information in the magazine can be found anywhere online, to which many students already choose as a source for their information. Students don't care what a random dude in the younger year thinks about temple run 2 or who should have won last months Manchester United match, these are topics on which they discuss with their friends. If they want a qualified opinion on the matter, they would look to reputable sources that are in their hundreds online and in professional publications. If the magazine WAS SOLELY about internal school events, then students would actually want to read it as it would be a primary source indicating internal events and news that would be hitherto unknown to students. It would allow the publication to voice student concerns, opinions and achievements through a way that isn't totally boring and biased like the termly school newsletter. This would have made the publication unique, special and noticeable, thus making it appealing and beneficial to students. 
The articles themselves are ridden with grammatical errors, are out of date with current general affairs and are quite unimaginable. While it is easy for me to lambast each and every article published and to mock the attempt of journalism, I will not. As it is the failure of the school to educate, delegate and direct students in something they are inexperienced in doing. If a kid has a shitty idea they need to know it is a shitty idea, so that they exhaust all their shitty ideas until they come up with good ones. By letting them publish the article of their choice unchecked, the school is letting them down. The photos and content of the articles are obtained from the web (and poorly sourced I must add), not produced or researched independently. Layout and presentation is horrendous with different fonts and colour schemes being used. If you are going to have a puzzle, at least make it a simple crossword, not a fucking word search that can be completed by a 7 year old.
One article on which I will deride and ridicule proudly is the teen fetish fantasy advertised on the cover of the magazine as the "Harry & Zayn fanfiction" (fan fiction spelt incorrectly as well). What the hell was the editor thinking about? If they needed more content, I would've happily posed for a photo whilst I defecate into the pond and rub a photo of Margaret Thatcher on my breasts. That would provide the audience of the magazine with more entertainment than the piece of fiction itself. It would at least have some f**king subtext the readers would be able to opinionate and discern for themselves. The story doesn't even incorporate a theme or moral in which readers can discuss, debate and learn from. If any one thing should never again be replicated in any publication ever, it is a piece like this.
The magazine itself is printed on high-quality paper and is in colour, which must have cost a lot. There is no need for the full-colour articles or photos included in the magazine, as the colours do not convey information the sh**ty articles can't. The photos could warrant colour printing if they were produced by the journalists of the magazine. I ask again, why has the school funded this publication? If a sizable amount has been put forward, which must have been, to printing the magazine, why is the content of such poor quality? We here at the trash would obviously not complain if we were handed money to print our tripe, but we would still try our hardest to print something of quality to make it worth the money we received. 

Sadly, I come to the following conclusion:
The magazine is not actually worth the paper it is printed on.

As much as I can predict comments like: "Stop complaining you d**khead. If you really think the magazine is s**t than why did you not offer to write in it?". Well as I am sure you have worked out from reading my articles, I am a little pessimistic cynical c**t. Yet, as a cynic, I feel it is my duty to construct through destruction (learning from Graham Greene's "The Destructors", through destruction, comes creation). We, once again, return to the issue that this country's education system is facing; neither the students or the teachers are happy. If only the magazine could herald student opinion and reflect upon student issues, we would start to resolve this issue.

I do very hope that the editorial team are reading this article as to correct what was wrong in their disastrous publication. And if you are, please do not hesitate to publish any Trash article (make sure it's one of mine, the other guys are c**ts).

DISCLAIMER: This Hampstead Trash article has been written to critique the actions of the governing bodies of the school. This is so student readers can hear both sides of the argument, and formulate their own opinions on matters pertaining to their education.

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