Being involved in student journalism had always appealed to me, long before coming to university. I personally blame it on my mild Gilmore Girls addiction. But somehow, the autumn term of my first year at York flew by and I’d done absolutely nothing about it. And so, in January, with the ‘new year, new me’ spirit still going strong, I decided to look into writing an article for University’s student newspaper, Nouse.
I had seen copies of Nouse dotted around campus and had read some articles on the website too. I requested to join the writers’ group on Facebook and saw that the Arts section was looking for book reviews. It felt like something I could just about manage.
And so, I had a go at writing a review of Truman Capote’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ whilst sitting in the passenger seat of my Mum’s car. She was actually driving me back up to York for the beginning of the Spring Term. I sent it over to the Arts Editor and saw it go up online later that day. The feeling of seeing it published with my name in the by-line was really exciting.
Since then, I’ve had press tickets for comedy performances, plays, gigs, poetry nights and writers’ talks. I’ve interviewed bands, student union officers and York students, as well as being on a BBC radio guest panel.
Being a Nouse editor
After writing for the paper for a couple of months, I ran for a position on the editorial team. I was elected as the Deputy Features Editor and then Arts Editor, a position I still hold and love.
My average week is full of things that a year ago I’d never have thought myself capable of. I proof read and upload other writer’s articles and lay up spreads in production weeks. I speak about my section at editors’ meetings and constantly send and receive emails coordinating press tickets and interview opportunities.
The experience of writing for a student newspaper varies massively. It can range from writing the odd article when you fancy, to being Chief Editor of the whole paper, living and breathing student journalism. Being a section editor like I am sits somewhere in the middle.
Nouse in print
Although online content goes up all the time, we print a physical copy of the paper three times a term. These production weeks are when the team is at their busiest.
We start the week with section meetings. We plan out all of the content, who will be writing what and when we will be in the office. The office is busy all week with different sections constantly coming and going to work on their pages of the paper. We use Photoshop and InDesign to create the paper. At the end of the week our sub-editors read the paper from cover to cover to check all spellings, punctuation and grammar before it goes to print.
Writing for the student newspaper is one of the best decisions I’ve made. I have met so many lovely people and had opportunities that I would definitely not have been offered otherwise. I always look forward to our production weeks, hanging out in the office with the rest of the team and publishing an edition we’re proud of.