Editorial candidate interview: Ben Cook
Why should students vote for you?
It’s a great opportunity and I want to give something back to the students here. I want to make sure The Gryphon helps the students of Leeds get their voices heard and hold both the Union and the University to account. I have experience with a variety of responsibilities with the paper. I’ve written for Lifestyle and Culture and also became Online Features Editor in my second year. I worked as Lifestyle and Culture editor at the start of this year and I’m now Associate Editor of In The Middle.
How will you keep the newspaper fresh?
In the wider world of journalism, social media is changing the way we do things. The Gryphon has started to adapt to that world and I think if we continue to do so, we can help get more news out to students. I have a background online and I think that developing the digital aspect can help the print side too. I’d like print issues to give a more in-depth perspective on stories while we get online updates throughout the week.
How would you promote a responsible newspaper?
On campus, there seems to be a sense that The Gryphon is looking out for itself. I want to build closer, more robust links with societies such as Leeds RAG and performance societies. I also think it’s very important that students know where the office is. I’d put a big sign on the door and maybe have an open hour for consultation, so they can come speak to me about any issues. I want to make the faces of all the editors more recognisable too.
What changes would you make to The Gryphon?
I want the paper to be a campaigning tool. We should be politically neutral, but I think it’s our social responsibility to address issues on campus and make a stand against problems like racism, homophobia and ‘lad culture’. I’d also be keen for more music coverage. Leeds is really up-and-coming so I want students to make the most of the city during their time here. Of course, I want to tailor content to students, but it’s a great platform for our writers if we can get young, professional people in Leeds reading The Gryphon too.
Lastly, how confident are you?
If you asked me that question two years ago, I would have said ‘not very’. But now I’ve taken on a new responsibility with The Gryphon every six months, I honestly believe that I can be the best guy for the job.
Image courtesy of Erika Sykes