I’m happy to tell you all that Issue 2 of ‘The Linc’ has been sent to the printers. Officially, it’s issue 2. But it’s the fifth issue we’ve made since I founded The Linc last year. Complications are horrible, but must be overcome.
The web edition can be downloaded at thelinc.co.uk. Criticism more than welcome. I know there are many, many areas in which we can improve. In fact, I’m going to write about them now, while they’re fresh in my head.
But first, let me describe what other publications we have around uni. We’ve gone from having one slightly mediocre magazine on campus last year, to having two magazines and a newspaper this year. Not bad progress — our student media is growing up as fast as our university, it seems.
Bullet is the original SU publication. It is, at present, the leading publication on campus. Sadly there isn’t a web presence for Bullet at the moment, so you’ll just have to imagine how it looks.
I like it. It has come a helluva long way since last year. You can put that down to the new editor and new team, no doubt, as I know they have been working pretty tirelessly on tightening things up from a standards and content point of view.
They’ll be the first to admit it isn’t perfect, though. Its design has never been too pleasing, with inconsistencies cropping up throughout – which is a pet peeve of mine (and every magazine/newspaper designer, I’m guessing).
The content is getting better. It relies on reviews and features to get the space filled. Often the odd interview will crop up (Bullet get the pick of the ‘celebs’ playing at the Engine Shed), and these are normally well written pieces.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Kate and the team can do next year as they try to take Bullet forward.
Ziggur…what?! My thoughts exactly, but the title works. No-one is quite sure what it means, or why that name was picked, but then looking through the magazine it’s clear that mystery is what Ziggurat is all about.
Sticking their neck out from the offset, Ziggurat announced itself on the scene with the slogan ‘Better than Bullet’. A weird claim to make considering its style is nothing like Bullet’s.
I do like the gutsy distribution of it, however. News stands were hijacked and fill with the mag seemingly overnight. We arrived to a campus full of the mag. And now they’re all gone.
I’m not sure where it’s being printed, though, as it looks like it’s produced by a team armed with lots of A4 paper and a staple gun.
See some Ziggurat content on their website/blog here: zigguratmagazine.com.
And now, The Linc. My publication.
It would be easy — and typical — for me to big up my own work here. I’m not.
While I’m proud of what I’ve done with The Linc, I still see that we have a long long way to go before it’s the newspaper I always envisioned.
Issue 2 is better than the first. So that’s a step in the right direction, at least.
Where we still fail is visually. I don’t have a team of photographers, so I’m scooping photos from free stock websites, and a handy picture agency we have access to. Not good enough. One of my main priorities is to organise a picture desk as soon as possible.
Another concern is the news. I’ve got features and reviews bursting out of my eyeballs, but good news stories are critically hard to come by. I’m in the process of getting signed up for mailing lists for local events, but the key is making this relevant to students. A tough job, but one I think we can manage with the right team in place.
Which reminds me I need to hire a news editor for next year. After our first attempt with several section editors — which fell on its face — I opted to edit the entire thing myself. Then, for issue two, I handed over control of sport to Gary, who now deals with content there. It’s no coincidence that sport is the best section of the paper by some distance.
A good news editor would help the news section improve leaps and bounds.
And I really have to hire some proofreaders too. The rush element that we faced for Issue 1 is back to haunt us with Issue 2. Not to worry — we’ve done our best with the time we had.
Here’s to Issue 3!