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Welcome back folks. Congratulations on making it through the first Monday after break. You deserve a medal!

It’s a new year, and a new A&E section. You may have noticed (or not) that we no longer publish album, movie, or TV reviews. The reason? Because there are plenty of publications sharing their two cents about every film, song and sitcom saturating the entertainment industry.

When Cheyda and I took over this section at the start of the school year, we set out with the mindset to refocus A&E on UC Irvine along with local arts and events. Which, I feel, we’ve done successfully this past quarter.

Media reviews will be published with or without our voices adding to the crowded discussion, but plenty of work from within our own community goes unacknowledged and denied its deserved credit.

While I appreciate a solid review, it’s my view that the New U has an obligation to report on events in Claire Trevor or around UCI that would otherwise go uncovered and eventually forgotten. Concerts, plays, galleries and profiles are still fair game, and we’re always open to ideas in an effort to widen the diversity and pertinence of our content.

This transition into event-based coverage is good for us as a newspaper and as a community. Relying on reviews, as we’ve done in the past, is, in a way, lazy journalism. Reviews have always been a dependable source of material popular with writers, especially on slow weeks. In contrast to event or profile coverage, they’re easier to write, they take less time, and they don’t even require you to go out the door.

The result has often been a disproportionate tendency for writers — myself included at times — to tackle these less challenging articles at the expense of more involved and more relevant event pieces.

Eliminating this review safety net has forced us as editors to be more proactive in keeping up with what’s going on in the arts and entertainment scene. The more involved nature of the content has pushed us all as writers to engage with and immerse ourselves in our craft as we take on more challenging pieces. Most importantly, it defines the section as a reflection of the work and artistry produced in UC Irvine.

A student newspaper that distances itself too far from the student body borders on irrelevance and is almost purposeless. As my section continues to evolve, and the New U continues to redefine itself, I have high hopes that we will continue to progress together as writers, readers and editors.

 

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