Editorial: things old and new


Extraordinary times such as we have experienced over the last year bring many challenges, but they can also be an opportunity for major innovation. The last year has seen a great deal of change for everyone in Durham’s community of staff and students. Some of these changes have been covered and beckoned by Palatinate, be it stopping the University’s planned online restructuring ‘Unbound Education’, reporting on the SU’s democratic struggles, or covering Durham’s profound issues with safety, (in)accessibility and racism.

However, in itself Palatinate has also changed fundamentally as an organisation. We’ve launched a broadcasting side, PalatinateTV. What the team has achieved already is simply remarkable, and marks a significant change to Palatinate’s identity.

Endowed with only modest financial resources, but imbued with the creativity and intellect of Durham students, the PalatinateTV team grounds itself in the same principles that make our newspaper so valuable: serving the community, fostering the talent of students, and promoting transparency, accountability and truth.

All this is not to say that PalatinateTV will be all sober and serious. Like the paper, the team is dedicated both to and factual coverage, as well as to creative pursuits.

We hope that video media will appeal to a broader audience, widening the impact of Palatinate’s journalism in the University community and beyond. Beneath this aim lies a recognition both that modern journalists are required to be comfortable working on screen, in print, and generally across digital media, but also that broadcasting requires a completely different set of skills.

A developed video side is long overdue at Palatinate, and the paper has given it a few goes in previous years. As a result, the new incarnation seeks to learn from the past; its large team has clear structures and aims for both the short and long term. This new, robust structure is especially indebted to the efforts of James Tillotson, and Sophie Garnett.

Like Indigo, our arts and lifestyle magazine, PalatinateTV will be unique in spirit to the newspaper, but ultimately inseparable.

PalatinateTV‘s doors are open to all Durham students. If you are interested in developing valuable skills or simply having fun, do not put it off until tomorrow. Join our contributor groups, pitch us your ideas, run for a role. Whatever your strengths, behind or in front of camera, in the editing booth, writing or researching, PalatinateTV (and the wider Palatinate community), are interested in what you can do.

Since our founding in 1948, Palatinate’s strength has been as much in preserving the traditions of the past as it has been in fostering the innovatory spirit each new generation of students brings. We are strongest when we look both backwards and forwards, building on the work of our forebears, without being weighed down or strangled by it.

PalatinateTV will be unique in spirit to the newspaper, but ultimately inseparable.

Readers will know that our status as a print newspaper has been questioned in the last year, used as a political football. As much as we are forward- looking, we are equally resolute in preserving our 73 year-old tradition of printing newspapers, still an essential part of British civil society, irreplaceable training for students interested in journalism as a career, and with a graceful tactility that defies easy description.

Today’s print edition is replete with everything that makes Palatinate an indispensable part of Durham’s culture. Four complete investigations on issues of great importance for students and staff alike; Comment, Politics and SciTech to inform and challenge your assumptions; Puzzles, Profiles, PalatiDates and Satire to lighten any gloom; and, in Indigo, art and lifestyle commentary which in quality we hope rivals any national newspaper.

We hope you enjoy this issue, and, to students sitting them, good luck with exams!

Image: PalatinateTV

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