“I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”

This, a line from the David Fincher film that influenced our front page, fully embodies what the issue you’re holding now is trying to achieve. In this issue of The Sputnik we are, as our themed title suggests, breaking the rules. The Sputnik has, for the majority of its life at Laurier Brantford, stuck to its basic mandate of providing a news-oriented publication to the campus and up until relatively recently, has not pushed the envelope. In isolated incidents, our content has ruffled feathers and pushed some buttons but by and large, that side of The Sputnik has rarely been explored.

In the past two years, a lot has changed at the paper and the printing of this issue marks another change in our history. It’s called “Breaking the Rules” because we want to demonstrate to our audience that we’re upsetting our own applecart, so to speak. Certainly for the past two years, The Sputnik staff has produced a strong, content-driven paper that we feel caters not only to the students of this campus but also to members of the Brantford community who work and live alongside us.

This bi-weekly production schedule is, for all intents and purposes, fine the way it is. Some say that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but let’s be honest – that’s a cop out. We feel very much that The Sputnik, as an outlet of communication, is a one-way street: our work and our words are always going out and very rarely do we have any sort of response coming back. This is the rule or better yet, the routine that we’re looking to break.

What we’ve come up with is this: issues centered on a single, common, engaging theme that is relevant to our readers and sparks some sort of renewed interest in The Sputnik. This issue, as I mentioned earlier, is 24 pages of content devoted to the people in all of our lives who break the rules. The cheaters and thieves, liars and conmen are the obvious characters that will pop up but there are a lot of people out there breaking the rules for different reasons, with varied goals and results.

Going forward, we have another two themed issues planned for this semester and (I hope) more coming in the years to come. We’ve put a lot of thought, effort, and hard work into this paper and this issue specifically and all we’re asking for in return is a response. You don’t have to pay for anything, nor do you need to subscribe or sign up anywhere. Just send me an email (editor@thesputnik.ca), drop by our office (Journalism House, room 105) or hell, even send us something via snail mail (mailing address is on the right side of this page). Let us know if you love what we’re doing, if you don’t really care about it and for the love of Christ, if you hate it, tell us why! We want to know and we want to know why. This campus is a shared space for all of us but up until now this has been our paper alone. The product of the blood, sweat and tears of a few dozen volunteers who are happy to do what they do for The Sputnik, but it would mean so much to us if you told us what you wanted to see more or less of in this paper. So please, when you flip the last page of this issue over, take a minute and write us a message or walk to our office. We want to talk, we want to engage and we want to be yours.

And don’t worry – we don’t bruise easily. So hit us as hard as you can.

Brock Whitbread
Managing Editor, The Sputnik

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