Trolling in the deep

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I have taken up a very bad habit &mdash; a sad, soul-crushing, discouraging habit. I have taken to regularly searching the term &ldquo;<em>Imprint</em>&rdquo; on the UW subreddit and OMGUW.


I don&rsquo;t know what initiated this habit. I think the addiction began after a few volunteers pointed out recent mentions of <em>Imprint</em> on the two sites. I decided I wanted to see what else had been written about my beloved newspaper on these anonymous social media sites. It wasn&rsquo;t pretty.


An example, you ask?


A post titled &ldquo;<em>Imprint</em> to the rescue!&rdquo; with a link to a photo showing copies of <em>Imprint</em> soaking up flood water outside a men&rsquo;s washroom in MC, with comments like &ldquo;that&rsquo;s all <em>Imprint</em> is good for.&rdquo;


Great. Thank you. My life&rsquo;s work (for the past eight months) turned to rags. Literally.


During my time here so far, I have learned that <em>Imprint</em> holds quite a reputation, I&rsquo;m just not sure what that reputation is. Some people online chastise us for being in Feds&rsquo; pocket. Others are outraged that we have a vendetta against Feds and can&rsquo;t take the bias out of our reporting. Many mention how stories sometimes aren&rsquo;t well written. And you&rsquo;d be surprised how many people complain about the bias in columns and opinion pieces (those are the ones that make me laugh the most). The one thing in common is that the people posting on these websites really hate <em>Imprint</em>.


What irks me, and I might be beating a dead horse (excuse the analogy), as surely past <em>Imprint</em> EIC&rsquo;s have felt and vocalized these same thoughts, is that <em>Imprint</em> is always changing. How can a reputation that began at some point in <em>Imprint</em>&rsquo;s past still remain?


The editor-in-chief position is a one-year contract position. Sometimes he or she will stick around for two years, but never more. And then there are the students. The volunteers that dedicate themselves so wholly to <em>Imprint,</em> then graduate and move on like everybody else. I can guarantee you that the team here with us today is completely different than the team that was here four years ago. Save one or two lifers.


So yeah, maybe at one point it seemed like <em>Imprint</em> was in Feds&rsquo; pocket. And maybe at another point it appeared that we had a vendetta against Feds. But I can assure you that when I started here, I had no bias towards Feds, and I continue not to. Nor does my team. It&rsquo;s not part of a manual here to feel the same way about things as in I<em>mprint</em>&rsquo;s past, despite what people online might think.


And maybe the paper isn&rsquo;t always perfect, but guess what, our volunteers aren&rsquo;t professionally trained journalists. They&rsquo;re also not paid. They are here to learn, and to try their hand at something new.


I know everything I&rsquo;m saying here is probably in vain, and I also know that there are a lot of commenters on OMGUW and reddit who are simply trolls. But, every once in awhile, I see a comment or a remark that I can tell is from someone who really cares about the quality of his or her student newspaper. Those people should come into the office; they should get involved and tell us what they think.


I&rsquo;ve said it before, and I&rsquo;ll say it again: any undergraduate student can volunteer at <em>Imprint</em>. There&rsquo;s no application process, there are no pre-requisites, and most of all, <em>Imprint </em>is not an exclusive, cliquey environment. We&rsquo;re thrilled when new people join us &mdash; especially ones who have opposing views and opinions. And as cheesy as I&rsquo;m going to sound referencing Gandhi, I&rsquo;m going to do it anyway &mdash; if you want to see change at <em>Imprint</em>, then come be the change.


We&rsquo;re waiting for you.


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