As part of the new senior editorial team for Concrete, UEA’s student newspaper, I recently finished my first production weekend. After three days of squinting at a computer to make sure lines are straight (amongst other things), we have our first issue. I oversee the production of Venue, Concrete’s cultural pullout – the results of which you can see below. Before that, however, I wanted to catalogue a list of things I learned from the experience.
- You will learn more about Photoshop and InDesign in a long weekend as a senior editor than you learned in an entire academic year as a sub-editor. ‘Baseline gridding’ is not just a fancy term that your superiors used to throw around without meaning.
- You will regret ever envying your old editor-in-chief for writing an editorial column. They are the toughest things to write.
- 17 hours in a small office-space on the year’s hottest weekend to date will turn you into Meryl Streep a la The Devil Wears Prada. Your anal retentiveness will be championed by some but will grate on just as many.
- Copy editors are the backbone of a newspaper.
- Never express half-baked interest in starting an Agony Aunt column, because when space opens up (and it will) your byline photo will end up on page 2 next to the title ‘Hayden Helps’. It will get a surprisingly positive response.
- Similarly, sometimes the smallest ideas are the best – my switch from star ratings to colour-coded number ratings got a nice bit of praise too.
- Your first production weekend is not the best time to start a new health regime.
- There will be moments where only a dose of Kanye, Jay-Z and Beyonce can regain morale.