Editor’s Note: A fresh start and call to action

Welcome to The Sputnik, Wilfrid Laurier University’s official student-run newspaper on the Brantford campus. As your editor-in-chief for the 2023-2024 academic year, I am most passionate about making sure each issue is a body of work students can take great pride in and enjoy reading every month.  

A little bit about me — I am a fourth-year digital media and journalism student with a minor in criminology. Last year, I was the senior copy editor at The Sputnik and before then, I was a volunteer news writer. I also have journalistic experience from Radio Laurier, Folktale Studio and The Globe and Mail.  

This year, you’ll find that The Sputnik covers a range of topics and different interests through multiple means, so every student can fully enjoy our content. No relevant experience is needed to join our team, The Sputnik is an open space for you to showcase your work. 

Unfortunately, many of you will no longer be able to view our Instagram or Facebook page, as Meta started blocking out all news content on its platforms in Canada in response to Bill C-18. Also known as the Online News Act, this bill has been a hard hit for news publications across the country, even though it aims to support them in receiving their fair economic share when media companies, like Meta, monetize off of their content. 

Meta wrote in a statement, “we know the people using our platforms don’t come to us for news.” But, according to an AP-NORC poll from 2022, 71 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials receive news from social media platforms daily and 91 per cent at least weekly. This includes Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter. Since credible news sources are now blocked and cannot help combat the risk of fake news, false information and out-of-context headlines from nonreputable sources, it’s best if students turn to free news sites directly, such as CBC News, CTV News or your local paper.  

The Sputnik is available on stands around campus throughout the year and on our website at www.thesputnik.ca. Top stories will be featured on both our new YouTube channel and the next season of The Orbit on Radio Laurier, so stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates. We are also always looking for feedback and creative ideas, so feel free to send us an email or find us on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

On a final note — whether you are a new student or returning to campus, the beginning of the school year brings us all a fresh start, whether it be building on our academic skills, getting involved in the Laurier Brantford community or finding new ways to connect with others. I hope you have a wonderful start to the year and enjoy reading, creating and supporting your local student newspaper.  

This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 1 on Thursday, Aug. 31.

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