A few times ago we told you on Facebook that an extended version of the policy for the new editor in chief would be published on Seventwenty. Here it is. We hope you like it and we want to invite you to respond on it. A shorter version of this policy was also discussed at the last Bondsraad.
As an editor in chief I want as many people as possible to read blog posts on Seventwenty. Also, I want to post high quality blog posts.
The biggest competitor of Seventwenty is the German blog Achteminute. The majority of their blog posts is written in English. This will also be my policy for Seventwenty. At the moment many international students are a member of a Dutch debating society and therefore a member of the Dutch Debating Association. By means of the annual fee they pay for the society they contribute to the Dutch Debating Association. However, at the moment these people get nothing in return for their contribution. According to me this is unfair and also not a necessary thing to do. So, this is the first reason why I want to post the majority of the blog posts in English.
The second reason is because I want to broaden the range of Seventwenty. During big tournaments like EUDC and WUDC there is a lot of competition for Seventwenty. Debaters want to know who reached the break and who won the finals. Therefore it is important to stay part of the competition by posting in English. Besides you attract people from other countries by posting about actual discussions in the debating community. Many discussions (such as equity or judging) do not only affect the Dutch debating community but also the majority of the debaters in the world. By this we broaden the range of people we can reach and we can promote ourselves as the place where people get their updates from. This will be combined with social media like Facebook and Twitter.
The bigger idea is that I want to reach as many people as possible and therefore make Seventwenty a more well-known blog to everyone outside the Dutch debating community. As said I want all blog posts to be in English, except when this is totally irrelevant for the rest of the world. Many blog posts are now being posted in Dutch while there is no real need to do so.
However, I believe it’s fair to make a few exceptions on this rule, as I slightly mentioned before. This are basically two types of blog posts, namely debating tournaments held in Dutch and the Dutch Schools Debating Championship. English speaking debaters don’t have any concrete benefits of reading these posts. Besides, those tournaments held in Dutch are mostly organised by societies that have Dutch as their first language. This is an inherent part of the society that Seventwenty doesn’t want to change. We also believe that there is no clear harm for Dutch speaking debaters, since the majority is stil able to read and understand our blog posts.
The second exception I want to make is the Dutch Schools Debating Championship. Most high school students have troubles with directly understanding an article written in English. This is why we want to keep the accessibility for them as high as possible. Although many well-known high schools in the high school debating circuit are bilingual we don’t think reporting about Dutch Schools is beneficial for the majority of the pupils.
I don’t believe that a) every school is bilingual and that most high school students don’t have a good (or at least good enough) understanding of our blog and b) not every high school student has an A+ for English and therefore not everyone can read English blog posts very easily. For these high schools students I don’t want to make the accessibility too high, therefore it’s fair to make an exception here.
By the way, we will still post about WSDC in English, since this tournament still has relevance for people from other parts of the world.
So, this is basically what I want to achieve as an editor in chief of Seventwenty. Some of you will agree on this, others won’t. We believe this policy, as it is stated, has many benefits for everyone. We hope that at the end of this year we can reach a lot more people then we are doing already.
Mascha is een alumnus van de Amsterdamse Studentendebatvereniging Bonaparte. Zij was redacteur van SevenTwenty (2012-2013) waarna ze in 2013-2015 de rol van hoofdredacteur op zich pakte.
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