70 years later, the Martlet’s still telling stories that matter

Newspaper fosters new student journalists at the University of Victoria

Myles Sauer

News Staff

People looking for a fresh perspective on some of the news of the day might want to turn their eyes towards the University of Victoria, as a growing roster of journalists look to make a name for themselves at the Martlet, the university’s independent student newspaper.

Established in 1948 and now on its 70th volume, the Martlet distributes 6,000 physical copies biweekly on campus and in the Greater Victoria area while publishing content regularly online. Stories are written and edited primarily by a team of student volunteers who can learn and develop valuable skills in journalism.

Helping aspiring writers is one of co-editor Sarah Lazin’s favourite parts of the job.

“I think it’s really important to give students a chance to learn and grow,” she says. “Making mistakes is a part of learning.”

Three months into the position, Lazin says “it’s really reminded me how much I love what I’m doing.”

Being a university paper, the Martlet’s main focus is on issues that pertain directly to students, co-editor Cormac O’Brien says.

“If it’s on campus, chances are we’ll wanna write about it. Beyond that, I think the Martlet has a pretty good reputation as an alt-news source, and so we’re always pushing towards that.”

Topics of interest on that front include drug use, homelessness and housing affordability in Victoria. “We’ve got a pretty unique viewpoint because of the fact that a lot our writers are students,” O’Brien says.

This year marks the first in over a decade in which there are two co-editors guiding the paper, something O’Brien says is incredibly useful, since it allows both him and Lazin to continue their studies. O’Brien studies creative and professional writing, while Lazin studies political science and journalism.

“It really makes a world of difference having that second head to bounce ideas off of,” he says. “Balancing between the philosophical and the day-to-day stuff is obviously made a lot easier with two people.”

“As with any job, there’s so many more parts to it than you imagine,” says Lazin. “Having that extra piece of support is invaluable.”

As they head into the new school year, both editors are planning to keep providing opportunities for up and coming writers to tell the stories they want, how they want.

“Feeling like the student journalist just tagging along is really frustrating and really challenging,” Lazin says, “so if we’re able to give aspiring writers a ‘grown-up opportunity,’ that’s going to be so beneficial for them to have in their portfolio.”

“You should be, and you will be, writing better from your first article through your last article,” says O’Brien. “And I think that’s reflected in the content, too. It’s always improving.”

 

Cormac O’Brien (left) and Sarah Lazin (right) are the new co-editors at the Martlet, UVic’s student newspaper. Belle White Photography

Just Posted

Athlete who survived head-on collision offers GameChanger award for women

Victoria woman competed in an Ironman two years after doctors told her she wouldn’t walk

PHOTOS: Bear fishes for salmon in Goldstream Park

Each fall thousands of vistors head to the park to watch the annual salmon spawn

HarbourCats van ticketed at Braefoot Park

Braefoot association dinged $50 for parking baseball team’s van

Victoria resident unable to vote after a move across the Saanich border

Lucia Espino moved just a few blocks, but unable to vote in either municipality

MLA Andrew Weaver hosts town hall in Oak Bay

The event is Thursday at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Trump vilifies caravan, says he’ll cut Central American aid

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border Sunday in southern Mexico.

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Rotating strike in Toronto will have ‘significant impact,’ says Canada Post

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities.

Cancelling Saudi Arabia arms deal would cost $1 billion: Trudeau

Canada has added its voice to global calls for answers, with Trudeau telling the CBC in an interview today that the Saudi government’s explanation of what happened lacks credibility.

Former B.C. sheriff caught in sex-related sting pleads guilty to lesser charge

Kevin Johnston will be sentenced on Nov. 6 for his role in communicating online with a person posing as a 14-year-old girl.

DFO investigating shooting of Vancouver Island sea lion

Rescued animal remains in critical condtion at Vancouver Aquarium after Ucluelet incident

Man reportedly exposing himself to Vancouver Island students

Incident happened Monday afternoon at Lake Trail middle school in Courtenay

WWE star Roman Reigns announces he has leukemia

Grappler formerly played in CFL

Most Read