The second opportunity Perdeby had was to meet up with other South African student publications at the Varsity Newspaper National Conference. One of the speakers was Mark Weinberg from the Right2Know Campaign. He looked at the connection between the media, their readers and their advertisers and how it influences the end product. Weinberg explained the concept of “the bubble”. Every Facebook user will be familiar with this concept. It’s the algorithm that ensures the things you see on your timeline are things that you agree with. The bubble can also be seen as an echo chamber. Everything you put in echoes back to you and you will undoubtedly agree with it. The problem with the bubble is that you start to believe that everyone thinks the same way as you and that all your opinions are correct.
This is where reading something different comes in. It’s nice to go unchallenged by tabloids and social media feeds. It’s not comfortable to read something that challenges us, but when we do, we become aware that not everyone thinks likes us and agrees with us (I’m still trying to process some of the literature Weinberg gave us). We don’t necessarily have to agree with what we read, but different ideas may add to our own ideas by removing the limitations on them, or strengthen our own ideas by us needing to defend them.
Too often I think everyone agrees with me because that is the idea that I’m fed by the bubble. Too often I choose to be ignorant by reading the same things day in and day out. I’m always amazed by people with big ideas. These people are most often people that read things that challenge and develop their mind. I can only conclude that I am what I read.
I can’t guarantee that all of Perdeby will challenge you (certainly, Pssst… will not) but I hope you find something of value in our pages. The editorial sacrificed their holidays for it, so I hope it’s been worth their while. I’m certainly proud of them.