Outgoing editors bid farewell

7 November 2011

Written by: Erdem Koc

For the past four months, ten students from La Trobe University have together run this publication.  Today, they say farewell.

It has been a very successful semester for this publication, and it’s all thanks to the editorial team, who have worked hours on end to file interesting stories, interviews, video pieces and more, for the subject Online Editing and Publishing, offered by La Trobe’s Journalism program.

We thank all of them for their efforts, with special mention to the extraordinary leadership shown by editor Kellie Mayo (who managed to still keep her day job) and deputy editor Jonathan Wilkinson (who is still searching for a day job).

And once again, congratulations to Ryan Murphy, who won a summer sports reporter competition which has so far had him reporting on the AFL and NRL grand finals as well as the Cox Plate, and to Matt Dixon, who has scored a full-time journalist gig with the Kalgoorlie Miner.

We’ll keep you updated as to what happens to the rest of the graduating upstart class.

A special mention also to former sports editor Ben Waterworth, who, despite completing Online Editing and Publishing last semester, put just as much effort in to the site.  We’re secretly hoping he’s unemployed next year so that he can continue to contribute just as frequently for upstart.

We must also thank: graduating student John Takemura for sharing his AFL expertise each week; first-year student Sean Power, who created the highly successful Social Situation; and our regular contributors: Ben Asgari, Laura Carroll, Helen Lobato, Suzannah Macbeth, Tom Midwood, Joel Peterson, Renee Tibbs and Liam Quinn.

The outgoing upstart editorial team

And before they officially hand over to upstart‘s summer team (who we’ll introduce later), here’s a few parting words from the outgoing editorial team.

Kellie Mayo, editor:

‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chance to edit upstart this semester and been incredibly impressed by so many of the contributions. From Ryan Murphy’s entertaining videos to Sean Power’s innovative Social Situation, the beautiful images in Matt Dixon’s slideshows and Jonathan Wilkinson’s insightful interview with ABC sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley, upstart has provided many fresh perspectives on journalism and on life. Congratulations and all the best to my colleagues on the editorial team, I look forward to crossing paths with you again in the future.’

Jonathan Wilkinson, deputy editor:

‘I’m going to come clean: fulfilling my role as deputy editor of upstart this semester has been hard work, but as the saying goes “nothing worthwhile comes easy”.  There is no doubt that working on upstart has been an invaluable experience, even if it did deprive me of a social life and destroy my sleeping patterns. Despite this, I looked forward to our weekly editorial meetings, which were a terrific source of vibrant discussion, debate, and creative inspiration.  I want to take this opportunity to thank our editorial team, whose hard work and dedication led to a record number of hits on the site for the month of October. I’d like to especially thank Kellie Mayo and Erdem Koc, who have provided support, guidance and laughter throughout the semester.  I congratulate all of you and look forward to seeing what the future holds.’

Ryan Murphy:

‘My experience this semester as a member of the upstart editorial team has been fantastic and the opportunities that have come from it have been amazing.  I won a summer sports reporting competition with Gillette and Channel 9, plus La Trobe sent me to the Gold Coast to cover our team at the Australian University Games.  Having to consistently provide content, oversee submissions and assist with social media has given me valuable real-world experience.  It was great working with the team and our lecturer Erdem Koc has been a great mentor for me. I would have no hesitation in recommending this subject to anybody keen to succeed in the journalism/media world.’

Matt Dixon:

‘The experience at upstart has been nothing short of invaluable. Working on weekly deadlines is something we manage to avoid during most of our time at university so in some ways it was good (stressful) to be constantly on a deadline. It also furthered my addiction to my e-mail accounts which, for those of you who know me know, has become slightly out of control. I would recommend it to everyone because, even though you don’t get paid (which is absolutely outrageous), you will get to work with a great group of people and you will learn a hell of a lot along the way as well.’

Liana Neri:

‘Being part of the upstart team this semester has been both a challenging and rewarding experience.  The work load was constant, but extremely enjoyable. We could almost have been paid!  Being part of the team taught me great skills I will definitely use in the work force. Things like subbing pieces of work, knowing what is newsworthy, what will fit our site, effective communication revenues, and coming up with my own fresh story ideas weekly, are useful skills for every journalist. To begin to tune these skills now is definitely a positive for me. The ‘upstart brand’ is growing, and setting that standard for other university publications. To be able to say you were a part of it, is a great advantage. Editorial meetings were professional, yet relaxed where we could bounce ideas off one another and offer constructive criticism.  Being a part of the upstart team is something I strongly recommend to every journalism student at La Trobe without a doubt.’

Giulio Di Giorgio:

‘My role as part of the upstart’s editorial team has been truly invaluable. My involvement with upstart this semester has strengthened my teamwork and decision-making abilities, and has enabled me to acquire practical experience in all facets of online and broadcast media. In all honesty, this unit has been very demanding, especially balancing the demands with other subjects. Nonetheless, I have thoroughly enjoyed interviewing a diverse range of guests over the semester – from sourcing and contacting interview talent, researching interviewees, conducting interviews, audio editing, etc. I am fortunate to have worked with a great team – led by Erdem, Kellie and Jonathan – and the whole group should be very proud of their achievements this semester.’

Samantha Afetian:

‘It is astonishing how fast this semester has gone.  Working with the upstart team has been a great learning experience, and a good insight into what it takes to run a publication. I walked into the editing class without knowing what I was getting myself into. Little did I know I signed up for 13 weeks of article writing, editing, troubleshooting (somehow I became the go-to IT girl), website design and social media stretegy. And yet, it has been the best class I have taken in my university career. When friends and family back in the States ask me what I’ve been doing here in Australia, I tell them that I have been working for a magazine. We may not get paid for what we do, but it is definitely a job, and an awesome one at that. Farewell, upstart. Farewell, Australia. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon.’

Kate Scarff:

‘Editing, writing and publishing for upstart gave me the best hands-on experience I have had at university since conducting experiments in the lab over a decade ago.  Our editorial team meetings were a source of inspiration as I gained an insight into what other journalists (for that is what we are) were investigating and writing about.  Having to come up with new ideas for stories each week was sometimes a challenge but at the same time it exposed me to new frontiers from visiting a council recycling depot to attending a talk on edible weeds.  On the other hand, equally rewarding was editing other people’s work, giving constructive feedback and seeing their work get published. I look forward to welcoming the next upstart team and wish them the best for a productive and fulfilling semester.’

Jyade Old:

upstart has been a ride, and by no means a smooth one. But when you see your hard work up on the screen and hear what others have to say about it, then the sleepless nights and endless days consumed by upstart start to feel worth it. It has made my semester hectic and overwhelming, but as I reach the end of my fifth year at university I can see that without this little orange web page my education in journalism would be incomplete.’

Michael Nolan:

‘Being part of the upstart editorial team is real challenge. Unlike the rest of your time at uni the pressure to file regular and original pieces that need to be interesting to more than just your lecturers is unique to this class.  Editorial judgment is something that cannot be taught but is integral to anyone hoping for a career as a journalist and the upstart editorial room is one of the few places on campus to learn it.  Add to this a valuable crash course in social media marketing and the demands of a sub-editor and you get a solid understanding of life in the media. It’s not easy, it’s not always fun, but it is rewarding.