Editorial: The Link Has a Problem

Graphic Adam Gibbard

We, the remaining editors of Vol. 43 of The Link, want to thank every single member of the Concordia community for such a fruitful year. 

This was our first volume back as a bi-weekly newspaper following half a decade as a magazine. We have had the privilege to be able to connect with so many more of you because of this change. Thanks to you, we have helped bring life into our campuses despite a global pandemic. From holding the university accountable for their actions to putting a spotlight on incredibly talented members of our community, we could not be happier with how you’ve received us.

While this year has been immensely rewarding, it has revealed some of the deepest flaws in The Link’s organizational structure. We were originally going to publish 15 print issues of The Link. However, due to understaffing, high job expectations, and minimal compensation, the issue you’re currently reading, Issue 14, will be our last of this volume.

This year has been a notable example of editors being pushed to their limits—not out of duress, but from the passion and expectation to make this paper produce the best work it can. Many of us could not sustain this workload while struggling to make ends meet. Those of us who remained only could because we either had the financial privilege to do so or because we chose to sacrifice even more at our own detriment. 

This exploitation has created a culture of privilege that has resulted in The Link being a white-dominated space. In turn, this has subjected BIPOC staff to racism, ignorance and insensitivity. Due to a lack of proper EDI training, The Link has continuously placed the responsibility of teaching sensitivity and accountability on BIPOC editors and writers who educate their peers without compensation.

We have had seven resignations this volume—a number totaling almost half our masthead. The last words of almost every person who has resigned have been along the lines of, “I am not paid enough for this.”

We think it is a great shame that The Link has not found a way to operate for almost half a century without requiring immense unpaid time, energy and sacrifice from its editors and staff. 

If The Link expects good work from its editors and staff, it should in turn cease to rely on an extractive structure that exploits students and depends on their burnouts. 

We want future editors and staff to be able to produce quality content without worrying about not being able to pay rent, working multiple jobs outside of The Link, dropping classes, halting their academic progression, barely seeing their families and friends for weeks on end, or feeling constantly overwhelmed because they're working too hard for a so-called job they are told they are volunteering for. 

The Link is in dire need of a conversation that will ensure the level of sacrifice required for this job as well as burnout does not happen again.

While much of this work will be internal, there are ways the Concordia community can help ensure quality independent journalism thrives on campus over the coming years. In the near future, it is likely that a fee-levy increase to The Link in a CSU by-election will be raised, which will allow editors and staff to be compensated more for their efforts.

Our publication needs to resolve its lack of sustainability rather than putting a bandage on ourselves for Volume 44. Good journalism must start with good working conditions.

This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 14, published March 21, 2023.