By Monika Metodieva, Editor-in-Chief 2020/21
You might grab the print version of the Strathclyde Telegraph on your way out of the library, or come across a Facebook post of an article on our website, but a lot of you have probably never given much thought to the process of actually running a student newspaper. You have to always meet the deadlines, work with publishers and basically manage a small team of people. Steven Mair, our previous Editor in Chief shares his experience of running the paper.
He started in his 3rd year, October 2018. This was when we first started having these public meetings, typically held on a Monday evening.
“It’s crazy because that’s the foundation of the paper – where the stories gets discussed, where all the elections happen, where the patter is. It’s strange to think that before that they didn’t do any of these things.”
Writers would craft stories and send them to an editor. They often never saw editors in person, and society socials were scarce. That change was what kept him staying. And then progressing.
“I indicated very early on that I could see myself stepping into the shoes of last year’s Editor in Chief.”
For Steven, the biggest lesson while running the paper was just to try and relax a bit.
“You might have a lot of grand ideas at the start, and if you get half of them done you should not beat yourself up. I marked down a broad number of things I wanted to achieve when I started the role, I figure it’s going to be much better than sticking with one or two specific goals,” he says.
His biggest advice to us – the future editors – is to try and aim for as many things we can do as possible.
“You are going to slip up and miss a few goals but if you aren’t missing goals then you haven’t set enough.”
Steven contributed to the paper with a copious number of articles as well. The one that he believes had the most impact was a feature in our second print edition of the year, on the Kurdish community in Scotland.
“The interviews I did for that story were tough but necessary, because it’s a marginalized group of society. They are not given due consideration; these are people that have to watch from afar as bad people attempt to destroy their culture thousands of miles away,” he explains.
“I wouldn’t say I necessarily enjoyed writing it because of the subject material but I felt proud of it. It’s definitely one of the pieces I am most proud of in general,” adds Steven.
However, his biggest accomplishment so far is the fact that people come to us with stories and that is a sign of the progress we have made, a sign that we have been taken seriously as a newspaper.
“We have had some very good exclusive news stories – the emissions story, for example, and the university’s response to the Coronavirus as well.”
“Just having the trust of different sources, it gives me a lot of pride that we are trusted on these issues and to try and highlight them as best we can,” adds Steven.
It’s been a great year working alongside the whole editorial team of the Strathclyde Telegraph. We probably all started a bit unsure and hesitant, but at the end we managed to meet our goals and formed great friendships. This is is so much more than a student newspaper, it’s a community.
A massive thank you to Steven, Nicola, Rob, Ryan, Archie and Dori. It’s been a pleasure!