The following is written on behalf of our editorial team.
The last few weeks have seen NUI Galway dominate social media discourse in university circles. Not for the first time, a cohort of social media savvy NUI Galway students put weight behind a cause that that evoked strong opinions. NUI Galway has perpetually prided itself on being an institution that has produced some of Ireland’s best researchers, scientists, politicians, and businesspeople. However, of late is has inadvertently become a production line for some of Ireland’s best social media strategists and campaigners with movements like #FreeCian and #RIPoffNUIG gaining so much traction they trended nationally on Twitter. If only the higher-ups saw the potential of getting these savvy strategists on side for once. Perhaps then we would be seeing more #HereisWhere tags than posts berating this old institution.
The means that students adopt to protest have always been radical, just over a year ago concerned scholars occupied the quad, two years prior we saw the Cúirt shakedown. The current situation means that social media has become the battleground for expressions of exasperation, and nobody seems to do online protest as well as students at NUI Galway.
Over the last two decades, SIN has covered these protests, reported on the facts, and has stood steadfastly behind the principles of reporting on such issues in a factual manner. We are unperturbed by biased leanings, despite many of our volunteers perhaps holding their own personal viewpoints on specific matters. We have always held ourselves to the highest of standards in ensuring that the truth prevails, and issues are covered fairly, accurately and above all else, striking a balanced chord. This has always been the case, since the first volume of the first issue of this great paper was put to print.
We live in an era where the media has become so deeply entrenched and partisan. As a result, those that strive to see the woods from the trees have opened themselves up for onslaught and vilification, trial by social media and intimidation.
The latest in a conveyor belt of NUI Galway related controversies has seen this publication fall victim of this rhetoric. First of all, on behalf of the editorial board, and of all who give up their time to produce thirty-two pages out to the student body on a fortnightly basis, I would like to say the following: SIN abhors homophobia, racism and sexism. We have never, nor will we ever give a platform to content which promotes these beliefs. This paper is written and produced by members of our Students’ Union and upholds the values set by the Union in this regard. Our writing team prides itself on its diversity as much as it does on its commitment to good journalism, and good reporting.
Secondly, our reporting on such issues has recently been brought into question on social media. We wish to address concerns that we have not reported on these issues before, we wish to highlight the fact that we have always taken a cautious approach to reporting on such topics, with the acknowledgement that such issues need to be handled in a sensitive manner with consideration to the potential implications that they could have for this paper, the Students’ Union, and those involved in such incidences. However, given the scale and the severity of the claims made over the past fortnight we feel that we must provide a fair and balanced account of the events that have transpired.
This statement has been made with full confidence in our writers who have endeavoured to cover stories with the upmost of integrity. SIN will continue to hold ourselves to the level of professionalism that we have always prided ourselves on.