Hugo Greenhalgh ‘Think Big, Vote Huge’
Do you think you have as much experience and as much to offer as the other candidates?
Definitely! I’ve been writing for three years and edited my own section for a year. I’ve made a real effort to get involved with other sections too, attending their events and writing articles for them. I feel my personal background as Sports Editor is useful too, as it arguably has the most direct student involvement of any of the sections on a weekly basis.
How would you get more students to read Leeds Student?
I’d really try to raise the profile of the newspaper by improving and expanding our online presence. We now have competitors like The Tab who are solely online, so we have to raise our game on that front. It’s important that people have a forum to share ideas, and a more dedicated website supported by social media would be a way to do that.
You propose starting a Travel section – how would you make that work?
Students obviously have to live on a student budget, so to write about exotic holidays would probably be a bit far fetched. So instead, we’ll be looking at affordable holidays that students enjoy – we’ll try and stay away from the Sun, Sex & Suspicious Parents vibe though! I’d also really like to include a ‘postcard from abroad’ feature which would involve students who are studying abroad writing pieces on what it’s like to live and study in a foreign country.
Another pledge of yours is more integrated media – working with LSR and LSTV – how would you chieve that?
Having covered Varsity this year, I know there could have been more co-operation between the three organisations. We’re all there for the same reason, to cover events for students. If we could pool our resources, share links, podcasts – it would really help us all by working more together.
Beckie Smith ‘Good News’
What would you improve if you were voted in?
I’d really like for people to feel they can be involved in Leeds Student, I think a lot of people feel it’s not very accessible. I also think people want to see more good news in the paper so I’d feature what societies are doing, events in halls.
I’d like to make more use of the website, because there’s been times when we’ve had more content than we can print. This is why I’ve proposed the new role of Web Editor. I also want to make membership of Leeds Student as a society really worthwhile. More training for editors, writing and skills workshops for writers and improve the social side too!
What content from other sections this year do you think has been successful?
Some of the investigations this year have been really strong. The ‘Dodgy Donors’ piece was particularly good, and that’s something I’d really like to carry forward as Editor. My policy of introducing Senior Reporters will help to do that, so that the work isn’t entirely on the News Editors.
Do you not think the roles of Senior Reporters and News Editors might conflict?
No, my idea is to separate the roles, so that neither takes precedence. My plan isn’t for the new Senior Reporters to get all the glory and front page pieces, but instead take advantage of the fact that some people are more suited to editing, some to investigative stories.
Would you have printed the Nick Griffin interview?
I think there’s something to be gained from speaking to controversial figures, and we had positive feedback after the interview – so I was against the subsequent campaign for LS and other student media to adopt the NUS ‘No-Platform’ policy. I would have run the interview, but I would have run it differently. I would have worked more closely with LGBT and the Faith Rep, to discuss how we could mitigate any harm. I may not have in-depth editing experience of editing all sections, but I think I’m adaptable enough to use the skills I do have in the role of Editor.
Rehema Figueiredo ‘Getting Figgy With It’
What experience could you bring to the role of Editor?
I think I’ve been working for the paper since pretty much my first week in my first year! I wrote mostly for News, and I’ve been an Online News Editor and a News Editor. This year, I’ve been LS1 Associate Editor, so that’s involved a lot sub-editing on a weekly basis. Outside the paper, I’ve had work experience with Reuters, the BBC and the Press Association.
So do national newspapers influence your thinking for Leeds Student?
Design-wise, Leeds Student has to be really eye catching. It’s a free paper – why do you pick up the Metro or the London Evening Standard? Because it’s free and it looks good. In terms of content, I’m a News person so I favour really hard hitting news that’s completely straight with no spin. If it’s a good news story, it should speak for itself.
So why do you plan to change LS2?
LS2 appeals to a very specific kind of reader at the moment. Having spoken to quite a few people, it needs to be more obvious that it’s a separate pull-out. I’d redesign it and make it magazine size. It should be an entirely separate publication, to appeal to people who perhaps don’t want to read News or Comment, so they can turn to straight to the LS2 Magazine.
How do you think your experience matches up compared to other candidates running for Editor?
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m the most experienced candidate running for Editor. In terms of LS, I’ve worked under three editors, so I’ve got a really good scope of what I like, what I don’t like and how to get people to pick up the paper. Although I’ve mainly worked in News, I have good links with other sections and I understand how the paper works. My outside experience really helps in gaining a perspective in how to reach an audience.