Are there any preps or alcowhores in Malmö Nation? Lundagård’s own scandal-reporter went on a gonzo journalistic mission which resulted in the first reader-outburst in Lundagård’s web-edition.
In 2007 Lundagård got its first web-based editorial staff, with a News Director (me) and a team of web reporters who produced articles at a terrific pace. This was before one started talking about SOCIAL MEDIA or things going VIRAL. Facebook existed, though it was not used as it is today.
It was probably for the best. The day before International Women’s Day 2008, we at Lundagård published an article titled “Alla som inte är brats är våldtäktsmän” (Everyone who are not preps are rapists).
The article was part of a series where the reporters played an active role and concocted something special for the weekend. That Friday we regaled with ironic gonzo journalism, where a reporter searched for “preps and alcowhores” at Malmö Nation. And peed in the nation’s basin. At the end of the article it turned out that the reporter thought the people he had met where easy going and not remarkably bitchy.
I got the story for proof-reading the same day as it was supposed to be published. The remunerated editors did not have the time to read it beforehand. That’s why I broke out in a cold sweat when I realised many readers did not register the irony, and instead saw it as a sexist and shameful attack on the nations’ world.
The article got over a hundred comments. I have read through them now, and they are not merciful. Some find the article hilarious and “want more”. Others are disappointed in Lundagård and threats are pouring in. During March 2008 the article at lundagard.se was visited over 2 300 times. The month before we broke the record for the number of visitors – 10 000 visitors. It is comparable with the 30 000 unique visitors the web page has in one month during 2015, seven years and a social media explosion later.
What would have happened if the article was published now? Would my head still be attached to my shoulders? Would the reporter’s? The editor’s? How many comments and how many shares? I dare almost not think about it.
But who knows, now that the selection generally is more daring, and many things disappear in the noise that surrounds social media. Perhaps we would only sigh – click bait – and keep on scrolling.
Text: Louise Larsson, Web Editor at Lund University, Web Manager at Lundagård 2007-09
Translation: Viktor Jönsson