Comment writer Hannah Lay argues that the recent hateful comments regarding Theresa May are inexcusableWritten by Hannah Lay on 15th November 2018
Editorial: It’s been a turbulent year for Redbrick but I’ll miss it
Outgoing Editor James Phillips comments on his year in office and Redbrick's frictions with the Guild in his final editorial
The end of my time as Editor of Redbrick has arrived and, needless to say, it has been a fantastic and rewarding year. From covering campus news, organising General Election coverage, and putting the newspaper together every fortnight, it's been nothing short of an exciting year to be involved.
Of course, the paper would not have come together without the wonderful team that Redbrick has. Everyone involved has done a truly remarkable job. Everyone involved in Redbrick is a volunteer, balancing the production of the paper with their studies, and this is no easy task. When a problem arises or a breaking news story appears, our writers, editors and photographers rush to get our coverage done. You can't underestimate their commitment.
“I was told, quite simply, that the Guild would not be supporting the financing of Redbrick after Christmas.
Upon return to University in the new academic year, we set about producing our first edition, only to come across another problem: the Guild's insurance policy for the Redbrick website had expired. For us, this means that we have no coverage if we accidentally publish something libellous or defamatory, or break the law in some way, the Guild - as Editor-in-Chief - would be sued for some money. Seeking to reinsure the website, the Guild Sabbatical Officers presented us with a proposal: that every article that would go online would have to be approved by the President or the Vice President (Activities and Development). Furthermore, all these articles would have to be sent at least two days prior to its publication.
“Every article that would go online would have to be approved by the President or the Vice President (Activities and Development)
Having come across this proposal, however, I immediately contacted other student newspapers through the Student Publication Association, asking for their thoughts and advice. This, somehow, got leaked out of the group, and I was contacted by a national newspaper to talk about it, as part of a wider article on censorship of student newspapers. I declined to comment, respecting how our negotiations were ongoing. This national newspaper, however, summarised our position, anonymising us. This was when I received phone calls from the Guild Sabbatical Officers, calling me up to their offices. I went there, knowing what the discussion topic would be (despite not being told), only to be shouted at for talking to other people about the proposal. Since then, I have refused to attend a meeting alone with the Sabbatical Officers that has not been organised on my terms.
“We can't organise advertising, and we can't see the financial accounts for advertising in Redbrick. We're the only Guild society that cannot see, in entirety, its own finances.
So, we've asked (many times) to be involved in these marketing decisions in some way. We're currently not allowed; we can't organise advertising, and we can't see the financial accounts for advertising in Redbrick. We're the only Guild society that cannot see, in entirety, its own finances.
I don't want to end on such a bleak note however. Despite these difficulties and frustrations, being Editor of Redbrick has been fantastic and it will be something I miss. Nevertheless, I don't want to finish my year without holding the Guild to account for these decisions.
I could not have got through this year without Redbrick's amazing committee, editors, writers and other contributors. Good luck to my successor, Matt Moody, who I know will continue to produce such a high-quality student newspaper. On a final note, if you're not involved in Redbrick yet, get involved now - you'll not regret it.