Who cares about a student newspaper in 2019?

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People are consuming more content than at any other point in history and something like a university news outlet appears as outdated as the paper it’s printed on.

But as we share our selfie-aging FaceApp to the delight of spyware developers, follow corporately-funded influencers, or fill out personality surveys that reveal our political leanings, the need for an independent media grows.

Doug Ford’s Student Choice Initiative, where students opt out of fees and the government doesn’t replace the funding, means services at UW are at financial risk and could close down.

Because Imprint is independent, we won’t be silenced by the cut to funding.

This newspaper will be hurt in real terms by students opting out of their $4.35 fee, but it won’t stop the presses.

Instead, this paper will invest heavily in investigative news, art of all kinds, and environmental studies.

Imprint believes that UW students want the most thoughtful news they can get their hands on and that click bait is an insult to your intelligence.

Our online arts magazine, Quetzal, will relaunch with astonishing artworks created by UW students themselves.

The new environmental journal we’re launching, the Waterloo Journal of Environmental Studies, will seek to break the pay-to-publish cloud hanging over scientific studies.

When the pursuit of facts comes under attack, we respond with a creative mind and a critical  eye.

Every day, new volunteers come into the Imprint newsroom in the Student Life Centre, Room 0137, to pick up cameras, get assigned news stories, or to design page art.    

Imprint isn’t just in print. Having both a physical and digital presence is key to our survival.

Journalism around the world has suffered a major blow from the content-controlling algorithms of Big Tech.

Breaking through the information blockade of attention-hogging apps will mean providing something beyond superficiality.

A lacklustre news media full of fluff, driven for views by falling ad revenue, has made us all cynical about any talk of journalistic standards.

But Imprint is a non-profit paper who answers to neither the university, nor the student union nor our advertisers.

Our editorial decisions are made solely by UW students and me, a 27-year-old journalist who’s stared down enough CEOs and federal ministers to know what makes a good news story.

This fall, Imprint will begin working with the Indigenous Students Association by providing a dedicated space to Indigenous issues, written by Indigenous people.

Our journalists will be pressing politicians on student issues throughout the federal election.

Everyone knows click bait is easy and has broad appeal.

But it gets old, fast.

You know what doesn’t get old? Your bank account and your rights.

Whether we want to pay attention or not, political and corporate interests are seeking to take the public’s choices away for private profit.

Young people in Western countries have to work longer hours for less purchasing power than their parents because of that very greed and political complicity.

We live in a time of extreme weather events and climate crises, created by the pursuit of wealth that most of us will never benefit from.

And if you dare raise your voice against the structures of inequality or the destruction of the earth, there is a special word reserved just for you.

Snowflake.

That’s why collective voices are necessary now.

That’s why in 2019, a student newspaper still means something.

A voice raised by UW students for their own interests, because no one else will speak for them.

The disenfranchisement of university students through crippling debt has been allowed to take place in this country by generations of mismanagement.

The only antidote is people who are fiercely committed to their own cause.

Imprint is your platform to build something more than a piece of paper the university gives you after four years.

The newspaper is your opportunity to craft a distinct path that takes you where you want to go, not where your school or employer would place you.

If you want to take an exciting ride into the real world, we’re your one way ticket.