By Shin Seon-hye,
Managing Editor of Hanyang Paper
Rumors are spreading like an epidemic that “Campus Press is dead”. The present campus press has long lost its unique identity which has reflected the campus culture. If it had only l lost its identity, it might have been lucky but now it has also lost recipients. The existing campus press; which cried for social reform and students are gone, there is nothing left. Therefore the campus press is dead, but is it really true? Is what really true?
In the 80’s and 90’s when the students movement was in the works midst, the campus press played a role that the mass media (or public press) could not do by criticizing the realities. The campus press had always better to say remained at the center of the huge discourse on social democratization. At that time, University students and society realized the necessity of the campus press. The campus press, spat out words of criticism towards a corrupt world and made an attempt to make a righteous world, was a necessity for university students of those days. The huge discourse on social democratization was essentially to the life of students during that time. No, it was their life.
It is difficult for present college students to imagine these things.
Yes, the world has changed. This is no time to make a movement to solve the social problems. Nowadays, many students who have different values and interests are gathered in school. The educative old campus press which suggested that we should initiate a movement to make the world a better place indicating that as the only aim cannot arouse students’ sympathy anymore.
Many campus presses deviated from the established identity. This does not mean they found a new identity. The present campus press, without a firm identity and aim, seem to be disappearing compared with the past campus’ press. Some say that this is the death of press and then they further ask the question, “Is there really no way?”
It is true that today’s campus press will also lose the same identity and aims of the old one. However, it is wrong to judge the present press with the old standards. Because it is not that the current campus press has lost its function, but that the function which a new society requires has changed.
It does not make sense for the present campus press to speak with one voice as older presses did. That would be ridiculous. It would be like living in a post-modernism society with a modern mind. The time when all campus press spoke with one voice towards an integrated aim has passed.
To present discourse for different campus press with its own color and way of communicating with various recipients is the true role of campus press today. The campus press is not dead, its role and function has simply changed. This is what we call evolution not death.