New student-run website, ‘The Flotsam and Jetsam,’ aims to entertain and make an impact.
“Audience Unsure if University President Having Heart Attack or Really Milking Dramatic Pause,” reads the first headline you’ll find on the up-and-coming, CNU-centered satire news website, “The Flotsam and Jetsam.” From the very first article and the tagline “The Floaters and Sinkers Fit to Print,” readers get the impression that the satirical online newspaper is here to make us laugh and think. While the writers for this satire site have all chosen to remain anonymous, (the ‘staff’ link on their web page leads curious readers to a “The Hobbit” staff for sale on Amazon) an interview with the Editor-in-Chief made it clear that the online newspaper aims at making a tangible impact on campus.
“You can have satire that’s very, very pointed, that’s a prompt for discussion and a prompt for change…. This way, [student] complaints can be funneled into one voice and people can actually hear that voice. And of course, stupid jokes every once in awhile as well,” says the Editor-and-Chief. The ‘manifesto’ one can read when perusing the website states that “Christopher Newport University is an incredibly special community…. However, behind the great work being done at this school, there also lurks a hidden yet definite sense of dissatisfaction.” This satirical medium aims at addressing woes all CNU students can relate to, but might not have had the power to voice.
The Flotsam and Jetsam was described by the Editor-in-Chief as an ‘experiment’ meant to both poke fun at CNU and make people laugh. “The Yellow Journal,” VCU’s own satire newspaper that notoriously pokes fun at its own university and pop culture, inspired CNU’s satirical website. Every major university has their own form of a satire newspaper, and “The Flotsam and Jetsam” feels like it’s time CNU caught up, putting anything from the new Regatta’s expansion to Paul Trible himself in their satirical spotlight. With this new outlet to laugh at themselves, the Editor-in-Chief expresses the importance of talking “about issues that aren’t talked about publicly.”
For those interested, “The Flotsam and Jetsam” have a submission’s tab on their website where anyone can either propose a topic they would like to see raked through the satirical mud, offer up their own written article for review, or even inquire to a position as an official “Flotsam and Jetsam” writer or proofreader.
“I want it to be all-inclusive. I don’t want ‘The Flotsam and Jetsam’ to be a bunch of elites sitting around making fun at whatever. Everyone should be able to have a voice…” says the Editor-in-Chief, expressing the dedication they have to an interactive student experience.
As for the future of “The Flotsam and Jetsam,” they hope to someday move to a print version of the website and a possibility exists in the future for a donations page to help make that print-dream a reality. This way, the website could become a Yellow Journal-inspired pamphlet that is “more personal and purposeful.” When asked about future article topics, the Editor-in-Chief listed everything from Greek life to housing, the honors program, housing, and Paul Trible. The online newspaper hopes to put these topics up against a ‘fun house mirror’, to represent and exaggerate them in order to bring a taste of relatable humor to CNU students.
Each article is reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief to ensure fairness and quality. You can find these works of vigilante satire through the links on their Twitter and Facebook pages, @flotsjets_cnu and @flotsjets.cnu.