Welcome to Pandeia. Hopefully, you’re reading this editorial on our brand new website, having just – or preparing to – read the excellent content we have all so painstakingly collated, translated, analysed, written, edited, uploaded and double (triple) checked in the last two weeks. Either that, or you have a thing for the editorials of plucky new-starts. That’s okay too.
This website is more than just the product of the hard work, inspiration and journalistic ability of 15 slightly sleep deprived students. This launch marks the beginning of a project which plans to encompass the best of student journalism from all over Europe and beyond. We are not a traditional news site: though we have our own content (such as this week’s excellent comment piece from Egyptian student Shorouk El Hariry), our parameters are much wider than that. We believe that student journalism is brilliant, diverse and undervalued. Until today, even the most inspired pieces of the continent were restricted to a single campus or, at best, one region. Student media has for too long been fragmented – it is time for the talented and unpaid journalists of tomorrow to gain recognition on a wider level.
The Pandeia Network hopes to act as a platform for the best of this journalism. Our current contributors have skillfully researched the most interesting and relevant articles from their own regions before collating these, adding context or analysis and translating them into English to reach a wider audience. Though we had anticipated a humble launch, we received an overwhelming quality of content from eight different countries covering a broad spectrum of student media sources and topics.
Our content includes an important look at the link between disability and graduate unemployment in Sweden; an investigation into the portrayal of the amended immigration law in Italian student media, following the sinking of a ship holding 500 immigrants off the coast of Lampedusa; the first hand experience of a Danish trainee doctor working in war torn Syria;reflections on the EU by a dutch academic in a growing discontentment with the ‘superstate’; and a look at the controversial ‘sinterklaas’ holiday in the Netherlands and the racist implications of ‘Black Pete’.
Our inaugural theme for this edition is ‘Revolution’. This includes first hand coverage of thousands of UK protesters who last night marched against Austerity, following on from a ‘die-in’ demonstration in Bristol against BAE systems and the ‘intimidating’ staff strike held in Warwick this week. In spain, the parents of the Higgs Boson stand united with other critics against cuts in research while art students blockade themselves into faculty buildings in response to the new education laws. Finally, our ‘international perspectives’ section launches with a thought provoking piece from Egypt on Russell’s ‘revolution’ and what the word means in a country striving for ‘bread and social justice’.
It seems to us, that the word ‘revolution’ has become the mot du jour – we’re a european website, don’t you know – as more and more protests take place across Europe. However, we didn’t just want to write an open letter to anyone and everyone, as seems to be way most are going about it. We tried to engage with how the students across the continent felt about the issue and whether ‘revolution’ is as loaded a term as it first appeared. Its clear, as I hope you can see from our content, that many young people are not happy with how things are at the moment. Its also clear, that those involved in the protests are as fragmented and disconnected as the student media in Europe.
Its here that we hope Pandeia can make a difference, by providing a network for all of those young people and encouraging cross-cultural communication and development. Because, as Owen Jones told Pandeia, “After all, we’re all in this together.”
Rachel Barr, Greg Bianchi, Sean Gibson and Jamie Timson