This editorial was first published in print on the 25th of October. Callum Devereux is Deputy Editor-in-Chief.
It is reading week; time has continued onwards with little regard for the preservation of our thoughts and memories. The risk of our newspaper, indeed print media, is always that we are overtaken by events, that time will accelerate away from us before we are even able to grasp and convey its meaning to you. In our last edition, this became particularly acute when we indulged ourselves, and dared to become part of the story itself.
Our financial situation had been perilous for a long time, perpetually fluctuating between autumn semester complacency, and spring-time scrounging. In putting together our financial appeal and press releases, we were acknowledging that this dynamic could not continue – that our sudden desperation of funds required broader attention than we alone could afford to give it. Yet, we were wholly unprepared for the attention we did receive. We are unable still to fully process the impact it has had.
From Peers of the Realm to the concerned citizen, esteemed alumni to our own families, to have raised over £5800 is beyond our wildest expectations, and a far cry from the desperation we felt obliged to convey on our last front page. Our gratitude towards the numerous media outlets that highlighted our plight, and the businesses that expressed initial interest in helping us, cannot be fully articulated. Certainly not in an Editorial as brief as this.
Without these donations though, such reflections could not even be printed and distributed to the readership that matters most. That much, at least, I am grateful for.
It feels almost inappropriate to again indulge in a brief raging polemic on the fate of what we perceive as a noble, respectable endeavour. But still we yearn for a world where vital student journalism is sustained by its own demand rather than the generosity of those affected by a sympathy appeal and the nostalgia of our long history. The unfortunate reality is that we are not ‘saved’ by this appeal, only sustained in our current distribution habits in the medium term. There exists long-term challenges around how we drive forward our brand and impact students with our print product.
Our solution has been to put the ‘paper in palms, distributing our work at manned stalls outside the Main Library, whilst still depositing copies at sites across the city. In doing so, we are the literal and figurative supplier of news to our audience, no longer reliant on outliers stumbling upon our society details or website. Initial feedback appears encouraging, but there is always more that could be done. More to do against the backdrop that is our degree, and our lives.
Deadlines creep up, moments slink by. What we will understand in future as the ‘good old days’ is for now sept up into the mundane divisions of ‘reading weeks’, ‘seminars’, and ‘society committee meetings’. Meanwhile, thanks to your generosity, The Student keeps ticking on. Steadily, surely, documenting the periphery of your life as it happens. Long may we continue.
Image courtesy of the author