Today we go into winter mode here at upstart. Besides adding layers of clothing and increasing the number of hot beverages in a working day, this means the tenure for yet another editorial team has come to an end. Over the past 13 weeks, ten La Trobe students have been in charge of running our magazine. They have done this as part of their coursework for the elective subject Online Editing and Publishing, which is run by La Trobe’s Journalism program.
It has been another successful and exciting semester for us, with a new team with fresh story ideas. They have grown into their roles with great enthusiasm and with this team at the helm we have broken our former readership records. We thank them all for their hard work and dedication to upstart. We will be following their professional progress with great interest, and keep you posted about what happens along their journey.
We also wish to thank our regular contributors: Our US correspondent Liam Quinn, Daniel Baricevic for his EURO 2012 insights, Joel Peterson for his continued contributions to our sports section, and Alexandra Hansen for her entertaining travel pieces.
We welcome Emil Jeyaratnam and Justine Costigan as our winter editors, and finally, here are some reflective words from the outgoing team.
Olivia Wicik, editor:
Working with upstart has been a remarkably rewarding experience. The sense of pride I feel thanks to our wonderful team at the end of this semester is one that can’t easily be described. As editor, one of my fondest memories is witnessing all the great ideas turn into wonderful articles. I mean, only this team could come up with creative things like the ‘man tan’ and ‘tofu or not tofu’. It hasn’t always been easy but every single member has brought a different important quality to the team. If it wasn’t for our hardworking deputy editor Anne, this job would have been a great deal more stressful for me. Without our technical genius Mark, those silly questions I had no idea how to answer about the ins and outs of the website would have gone unanswered. There were the ‘sports guys’, Shane, William and Jake — who became great friends of mine and never failed to put a smile on my face. (Not to mention they submit brilliant pieces!) The girls, Madeleine, Alyce, Cass and Jules were such a delight to work with; Always motivated, always determined and always coming up with great ideas. Erdem was the man that you could always count on, and I could never forget Steinar, whose guidance and dedication to this magazine has inspired us all. It has been a challenging semester, but I’d be lying if I said the positives didn’t outweigh the negatives.
Anne Nielsen, deputy editor:
My time at upstart has been nothing but amazing. Looking back at the semester, it seems like it has lasted for years, and at the same time it was over within the minute. With editing, researching, and ever so often having to overcome writers block, this experience has challenged me fully, and developed me completely. Being deputy editor and a member of this great team has given me practical experience and skills needed for a future in journalism and communication, and I am forever thankful for the support and opportunities that have been giving to me. I wish the next upstart team the best of luck – you are in for a ride!
Jake D’Amato, sports editor:
My time on the upstart team has been a very enjoyable. Not only has this been the best learning experience I’ve had whilst being at La Trobe, it has probably been the most fun as well. It was great to learn how to work like a team and make it work, which we did… eventually.
Anyone who wants to improve their writing and editing skills, while getting used to writing regular pieces should definitely join the upstart team.
Working with upstart has undoubtedly been the most rewarding experience of my university career. I have gained new skills, developed existing ones, and substantially expanded my written portfolio. upstart provided our team with many challenges; from working to a weekly deadline, to managing social media and subbing content. Thanks to the wonderfully talented, motivated, and supportive bunch that made up our team, these challenges never became overwhelming. I sincerely hope to stay friends with my editorial teammates for a long time to come. To the media and journalism students considering working for upstart as part of their studies—do it, you won’t regret it.
Being a part of the upstart team has given me the opportunity to gain some practical experience as part of my course. Writing and getting published on the upstart website has given me material to add to my journalistic portfolio and given me an idea of how to write, format and advertise articles for publications. Working with the upstart team has taught me about the diversity in journalism, and it is interesting to see all the ideas that people come up with for articles that may have never crossed my mind. Best of all, it has given me the chance to become friends with my team and it’s always a great resource to have other writers to discuss your work with.
Being a part of the upstart team this semester was an eventful experience. Somewhere between learning to write tweets and discussing the spelling of ‘focused’ (or ‘focussed’?), we became a well-oiled magazine machine. Having little journalism experience to begin with, I feel like upstart gave me a whole new set of skills that I’ll be taking out into the work force next month. Under the guidance of Olivia and Steinar, the whole team did really well, and even broke some upstart records. I got to experience events and write first-hand reports. Overall, it was an amazing and fun experience, and I couldn’t have been happier working with our team – and of course watching Shane get a man tan.
My time at upstart has been incredible. Having that hands-on experience has been great and I have learnt so much in such a small amount of time. Coming from an Arts degree background I didn’t have access to many Journalism-based subjects, so what I have gained from upstart has been invaluable. Finishing my degree now I am confident that I can go out and apply the knowledge that I have gained at upstart into any publication. Fingers crossed that happens soon!
You know, coming into upstart was strange for me, as I never particularly wanted to be a journalist. I’m a media studies kid, after all; I want to make films! But, after having spent the last three and a bit months watching the site stats rise as your articles get hits, regurgitating tweet after tweet, proofreading, spell-checking, and mind-numbingly pumping out content… well, I’ve gotta say that it’s pretty addictive. Having my upstart log-in details taken from me was the most devastating moment I’d experienced in the longest time! There’s something to be said about a coursework subject that actually puts your work into the real world and allows constructive feedback not just from your lecturer, but also your peers. Has it been tiring? God yes. But, the fact that I now have a strong portfolio of work and have learned the most I have since getting to uni about anything… it’s truly rewarding and something I do NOT regret!
Writing and editing for upstart this semester has been both my most enjoyable and most challenging time at La Trobe. Having a great team of people around has made it so much easier. Being able to sit in front of a camera each week has been one of the most beneficial practices I could hope for.
While I’d normally not really care too far beyond the required work for any other subject, upstart has never felt like a subject at all; the constant challenges, checking my inbox at 3am on a Sunday night, finding subtle ways to decline submissions from keen but unpolished contributors, as well as praising who do great work has been both a great challenge and a rewarding process.
And before I forget, the calm and precise oversight of Steinar has helped a little along the way.
Working on the upstart team this semester has reaffirmed my belief that I want my future to be in sports writing. Being upstart’s football writer has given me the platform to develop my skills in a field I am immensely passionate about. The role has taught me the importance of research, grammar, structure and ensuring I am across all issues in football on a week-to-week basis. The main lesson upstart has taught me is that research is the key. It ensures that the content you produce is credible, accurate, and engages your audience.
Adding to this, working as a sub-editor, managing the site’s social media and engaging with contributors, made the experience of working with upstart unique. I look forward to taking it with me into my future endeavors.