Last week, in bedrooms, living rooms, the occasional garden and in a car on a lunch break from work, the students behind this website graduated. We joined our teachers and smiled at our webcams, celebrating our accomplishments.
And there was certainly a lot to celebrate. In just over two years, we have met and interviewed some of the most influential people in the UK and the world. We have shared coffee and biscuits with movie stars, political leaders, renowned journalists, and of course athletes. Along the way, we still managed to write award-nominated work and always have time for a pint after class.
Just before all of our lives changed, many of us were accepted in a variety of internships in newsrooms and media organizations across Scotland and were going to attend to workshops at the EU during a trip to Brussels.
In the summer of 2018, when I applied to study Practical Journalism in Glasgow Clyde College, I could have not predicted any of the victories, tears and missed alarms that were in my horizon. I only knew that I was hungry for a better future and that I wanted my life to change.
“Events, my dear boy, Events” replied Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to a journalist that asked what could change and threaten the direction of his government. Who could have predicted the events that we have seen in the last two years? Leaving the EU, having Boris Johnson as the prime-minister, suffering from a global pandemic whilst we are all more aware and concerned about the role of the Media in today’s society.
And, in this world of calamity, disgrace and VLE folders we still graduated. That couldn’t have happened without our teachers Charles Fletcher, Karen Bale and Ross Nixon. The goodwill and kindness these teachers have are only matched by their energy, experience and professionalism. It is not easy to handle any class, but even less one like ours of different experiences, ages, backgrounds and even fried chips related preferences. (I will certainly not miss the smell of vinegar during our lunch hour).
But, as much as I am proud of myself and my class, I can’t help to think about those who didn’t have a chance to be here with us, those who didn’t have a chance to have a seat in our classroom or any other classroom across the world. Those who cannot have their voices heard, who are not protected by the police or the law and who are killed in the streets.
I don’t presume to speak for them. But, at the end of this chapter of our lives, I look not at what we have done but what we can do and not just as journalists but as citizens.
To be aware of injustice wherever it may happen, to call out for action of our leaders, to give a voice to who has been silenced and above all to seek, defend and value the truth.
Thank you, dear reader, for two amazing years of this generation of the Clyde Insider!