The second candidate for editor of the London Student newspaper is Kings student and current deputy editor of the paper, Katie Lathan. Pi found out just why she thinks she’s the woman for the job.
There have been a few issues with the paper this year, including pages being reprinted. What do you think was the reason for this and how would you make sure it doesn’t happen again next year?
Unfortunately, there was an issue with the printers which meant that in one issue, a feature which should have been three pages long ended up having its second page printed twice, so we decided to publish the article in full, again, in the following issue. There sadly wasn’t anything we could do once we had thousands of copies around London, but I think that it would have been better to put the word out on our Facebook/Twitter that we’d had a technical issue and would reprint, as it just looked a bit like we didn’t have enough content and decided to cheekily do it again hoping that no one would notice! I think that, if something like this does happen again, it’s important to spread the word about it and keep our readers in the loop, and it gives more confidence in the editorial team if people know how the paper is progressing issue by issue.
Tell us a bit about your journalistic experience up to now.
My journalistic experience has all been within student media. I got involved with London Student as chief sub-editor in 2011/12, and then progressed to deputy editor this academic year. I also worked as chief sub-editor for The Angle in 2012, which gave me some online experience, as I’d previously only worked with print. I used to spend most of my time fiddling with grammar (which is definitely my passion), but then got more into writing articles this year. I think Comment is my favourite section to write for and to read, as it’s always interesting to get alternative angles on News stories or issues relevant to the student body which you might not have thought about before.
You mention improving the website in your aims should you win. How would you go about doing this?
I think that the first thing which needs to be tackled is all of the old content which is on the website, which needs to be archived and moved off the homepage. Every issue needs to be uploaded in PDF format (the most current one uploaded is from October 2012), and all of the articles need to be individually uploaded into their relevant sections. I think that it’s important that we add a Twitter newsfeed on there, and I’d like to introduce online polls so that students can vote on what they’d like to be covered in the next issue, and an open forum for people to discuss what they’d like to see in future editions – so quite a bit, really!
Do you think a University of London newspaper is still relevant when each individual university has its own student media?
Yes, I believe so, but I think that it only continues to be relevant if London Student takes the time to engage with other university media outlets, and not just college newspapers. If a university has a News story which it doesn’t believe it can share without fear of a backlash from their management, for example, London Student can help to publicise it. I also think that London Student can use its place within ULU to offer help and advice, as far as things like recruitment and training go, to other student media across London.
How would you go about recruiting new students and publicising the paper so it is better known on campuses?
I think that the first place to start is with greater use of social media, especially just before the autumn term begins, so that people are aware of the positions available within the editorial team and our need for writers, and for new students (or even returners), and so that people are aware that London Student even exists. I also want better advertising, and want to liaise with individual university’s students’ unions to get posters up which inform people about the positions available. Freshers’ fairs are where we get a lot of people signing up, so they need to be targeted, and from then I want to institute open, well-advertised (around universities, on our website and on Facebook/Twitter), fortnightly meetings to coincide with the publication of each issue, where anyone who reads or writes for the paper can turn up and say what they think about any aspect of London Student – which sounds like a lot of work, but I’m sure it’ll be more than worth it.
You can see Katie’s fellow candidate, Oscar Webb’s interview here: http://www.pimedia.org.uk/london-student-editor-oscar-webb
Voting closes Friday at 12pm and you can vote here: http://www.ulu.co.uk/vote/election/ You will have received your username and password from ULU by email.