When Alex Joske was elected late last year to the board of ANU student newspaper Woroni, he was proud and excited about how as news editor he would transform its coverage to make it more professional and relevant to the students who ultimately paid for it.
Joske, a hard-news aficionado who had been a reporter on the paper covering stories such as Chinese government influence on campus, felt he could steer Woroni towards solid news-breaking and beyond what he saw as the editorial board’s preoccupation with gender politics, ethnicity, the nuances of being gay, and tips from its sex correspondent.
It all ended in tears last month when Joske decided he had no allies on the paper and was beating his head against a brick wall in trying to promote professional journalism.
The last straw for Joske, who is half-Chinese, was when the editorial board commissioned a special issue to be written and edited only by “ethnocultural self-identifying students”, excluding any involvement of students who were white Anglo-Celts. …
Joske remonstrated with one of the Woroni editors. “I said, ‘most of my reporters are white’,” he said. “She said, ‘well, I’m so sorry, I guess you’ll have to get some ethnocultural reporters for that edition’.”
Joske quit; he was not going to start selecting reporters on the basis of race designated by the editorial board as acceptable.
He recognizes racism when he sees it. Well done sir.