Issue 10, Volume 17
Guys it’s time for all the bullying and shit stirring to stop. Last night we all saw De Minimis publish another tired attack on the so called snobbish culture of Melbourne Law School and the entirely predictable trash heap that resulted in the comments section. Frankly I’m tired of these constantly negative attacks against my fellow students. Its time we start seriously asking for change.
Reading articles from a couple of years ago you could be forgiven for thinking that De Minimis was a halfway respectable publication. The paper used to publish interesting and researched stories from students about the development of the law or actually amusing observations about student life. Sadly these past few years the quality of DM has declined to the abysmal standard we see today, a ‘magazine’ that alternates between lazy inside jokes and haikus that nobody reads seemingly written by the same two or three people on rotation mixed with the occasional controversy-bait taking aim at their fellow students for the crimes of doing their best to survive and give each other support during a difficult degree.
It seems obvious that DM really has nothing better to write about these days than to stir up controversy and anger between their fellow students. In the past few years they’ve published openly racist articles or articles making fun of people’s physical appearance. When they’re not busy doing this their other favourite targets seem to be the hardworking members of student leadership bodies trying to make everybody’s (including the people at DMs) degrees a little bit easier, or taking swipes at the so-called elitist culture at MLS (read people who actually give a damn about their careers that they’re spending years working toward). These kind of pieces instead of being legitimate and informative journalism does nothing more than damage the already under pressure mental health of the students who are the targets of these kind of attacks in a degree which is already likely to lead to lasting stress anxiety and depression.
Of course we’re all ready for the predictable excuse. “We only publish what students give us – if you want different content write yourself.” Frankly this excuse is getting old fast. De Minimis isn’t some helpless organisation powerless to control their own content. They’re a publication in charge and responsible for the stories they choose to put out, under the same ethical guidelines as any other media outlet. Secondly it seems that DM often takes a position themselves trying to stir up more controversy and anger writing these articles themselves, to actively seeking out these kind of stories and angles. Earlier this week the editors swooped in on Facebook threads to stir up anger and generate more of those deliciously click-baity rants about the hard work of the LSS to find a solution to the clerkship crisis caused by COVID. If they were genuinely concerned about this as a story they might have investigated and written something long before. Instead they only show up to feed and farm the anger of a small group of butthurt people who weren’t 100% happy about some changing dates. Finally if De Min really wants to change its stories maybe they should think about their reputation and the standard they’re setting!
My goal in writing this isn’t to suggest that the editors or writers of De Minimis are personally bad people. But for a while now they have been contributing to an unfriendly culture at law school and we need to ask them to change. Stop publishing anonymous hate pieces against your fellow students and faculty. Start seriously considering the impact your articles have on the feelings of others. I’d love for DM to be a thoughtful and supportive forum for law students to share their experiences and stories. But until we start fighting for a change in their standards, it won’t be.