When Cambridge Common kicked off for a second time two months ago, I wrote a piece called “end the monopoly
” about the way in which I conceived of this site as a challenge to the Harvard Crimson’s monopoly of student opinion and news “truth”. A month ago, I wrote a piece that outlined what blossomed over that first month
: a community that not only offers an alternative, but acknowledges the need for a conception of media that recognizes the inadequacy of the “official” writers and “news-makers” and the need for a readership that is an active part of the creation of news-history and news-opinion.
This week, Cambridge Common marks its official and undeniable entrance into the mainstream of Harvard’s political and media culture.(more in expanded post)
With nearly 400 readers a day, a community of reader-contributors and front page writers that engage each other on a regular and amazingly productive basis, and recognition as a voice in Harvard’s political community, we are excited to feel as though, at least for the time being, we’ve established ourselves as something that cannot be ignored. At the Crimson, Cambridge Common and the future of New Media became a part of the discussion in choosing a new leadership (I’m told at least three new Crimson leaders cited Cambridge Common in their applications). This week, we will host the three tickets vying to lead our community government, the Undergraduate Council, for a debate over the Council’s role, their priorities and qualifications, and the future of our community. Most importantly, threads from Cambridge Common are cited and posted on email lists across campus, contributing a forum and perspective that broadens campus debates.
But, our future here is certainly uncertain. CC depends on its community members for their contributions and feedback, and if that community continues to grow it will be up to readers whether our discussions remain productive and intellectual or slide as many blogs do into the realm of petty quips and disrespectful attacks. There is only so much I, or any other front page writer, can do to maintain and expand the quality of that discourse. So, to mark the two month anniversary of Cambridge Common’s rebirth, I wanted to say two things: 1. thank you for reading and contributing your thoughts, we are/may be doing something incredibly exciting here, and 2. please continue to read and share your thoughts, and encourage yourself and others to offer opinions and questions to our community so that it can continue to grow and add another voice to Harvard’s media world.
As always, hit the comment button and share some wisdom!