Print & Features Editor Jess Parker discusses her tenure in the role in this issue’s second editorial

Print & Features Editor and MA Film and Television: Research and Production student.
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My tenure on Redbrick’s committee has certainly been a learning curve. Going into the role after my year as Film Editor for Redbrick, I (somewhat naively) assumed that my duties would not extend out of what it says on the tin: ‘Print’, and ‘Features’. Our first print cycle was a baptism of fire, knowing nothing about the committee checks process, having been given no prior guidance as to how to navigate the seemingly endless rounds of guild checks, and our having to work out liaising with printers with no handover on the matter. 

In a sense, being thrown in at the deep end taught us how NOT to conduct a print cycle, and thankfully, our following four editions have been (predominantly) far less of a traumatic experience. I couldn’t be happier about our print publications this year, and cannot thank our team of writers and editors for their continuous dedication to Redbrick. 

That being said, I could not write a final editorial without talking about one specific instance that consumed my every waking hour for a few good months: the publication of ‘Redbrick investigates: FAB: Dick & Dom in a Crowd Crush’.

I’m sure that many of our editors, writers, and dedicated readership will have heard tales of the saga. Our unsung overlord of Guild Media, Louis Wright (letter on page 15), came to our committee with an intriguing feature idea, marking one of Redbrick Newspaper’s first legitimate independent investigation pieces in years. The article’s focus on the importance of anonymous whistleblowing in higher educational institutions and student safety spoke to many of us, and was a story that we knew that we had to publish – ideally in print so it could be accessed by as many students as possible. This article proved to be a brutal challenge in the face of internal structures that understandably weren’t too fond of Louis’ investigation. 

The process of publishing this article took over 5 months, and was a looming burden alongside MA studies and the rest of our Redbrick responsibilities. I am incredibly proud of publishing ‘Crowd Crush’, especially considering I didn’t even write it. Alongside EIC Alex Taylor, we spent countless hours toiling over the minutia of this article, leading to a strange sense of ownership over it before finally putting the piece to rest. I loved and hated the damn thing, but it represents something that is representative of what the job actually is. It’s not just ‘Print’, or just ‘Features’. Sometimes, it’s arguing with Guild officers for days via excel about the IPSO code.

Of course, ‘Crowd Crush’ was not our only success this year. As our EIC has explained, we have managed to secure financial security for our paper, something with which I am especially happy about. Thanks to immense public generosity, I feel as though the future of my role is safe for the foreseeable future in a landscape that is strangely hostile to the longevity of printed journalism. Having volunteered to man our social media all year in addition to my listed responsibilities, I am so pleased to see Redbrick introduce an official Social Media role for 2024/25, which will hopefully build our online presence even further than our wonderful print and readership. 

All of this is to say, thank you. It’s been an incredible year. Even though it might not have been the easiest, Redbrick has been one of the most important facets of my UG and PG years at UoB, and I’m so excited for next year’s committee – you’re going to absolutely smash it. 

If you enjoyed this editorial, check out our previous letters linked below:

Issue 1533: Letters from the Digital Editors

Issue 1532: Letter from the Print & Features Editor

Issue 1530: Letter from the Editor-in-Chief