We say farewell to yet another editorial team here at upstart.
Over the past four months, 10 journalism students from La Trobe University have together ran this publication.
Today, we wish them well in their endeavors entering the ‘real’ world and thank them for the contribution they have made.
Most of the team will continue to write for upstart. And no, this wasn’t a choice. We do model ourselves on the Hotel California, after all. (That you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave, for those that don’t follow!)
This week, we welcome the new editorial team who will be on board for the rest of 2011.
But for now, here are a few words from the outgoing editorial team.
Ashley Fritsch, editor:
Wow. That’s what pops into my mind when I think of the past semester. It’s been intense, it’s been challenging, it’s been staring at the computer screen for five hours straight without even noticing. It’s been waking up at 3 am and seeing 12 emails on my Blackberry, and then rescheduling my alarm for 6 am so I can change pieces before they’re published at 7 o’clock. It’s been goodbye bed before 11 pm and hello WordPress, Twitter and Facebook (purely upstart-related, of course). But by far, it’s also been amazing experiences; learning how to manage a team of ten, forging friendships and adapting to writing and editing for an online publication. It’s been working with such an incredibly talented and driven team, who have not only managed to put up with my nagging, but blow me away time and time again with their motivation and superb work.
It’s been a whirlwind – a crazy, hectic, insane, but brilliant whirlwind – and I can’t thank upstart‘s creators, Lawrie Zion and Christopher Scanlon, enough. Not only for giving us all such a great opportunity to do this as a subject, but also for being available around the clock to answer any stupid questions or pick up (and delete) any ‘horror’ tweets. And it goes without saying that Erdem Koc, the founding upstart editor and now leading the subject, falls into this category too. Thank you, Erdem, and good luck to the new team under his management — I’m sure you’ll find it just as invaluable as we all did, if not more.
Ben Waterworth, sports editor:
To me, editing upstart hasn’t been a subject. It has been a job. An exciting, full-time occupation — minus the pay of course. It has been an incredibly fun experience, not only to write my own articles and to edit other people’s work, but to also see how a website is run. I have been lucky enough to work with a fantastic and passionate editorial team, who have been incredibly supportive and encouraging to me.
This experience has been invaluable. I’ve been able to express myself fully and I’ve learnt so much. At times being on the editorial team was difficult, but I would never trade this experience for anything less. No pain, no gain as they say. I’ve made some great friends, and I’ve gained confidence in every aspect of my work. It was well worth it.
Khairun Hamid, deputy sports editor:
I will be honest with you – upstart has taken over my life this semester. Having said that, I have really enjoyed my time and have gained some serious experience and insight into publishing and editing. Jumping on board the sports editor bandwagon has given me a crash course in AFL and I’m certain this new expertise (and not dumb luck) is what has kept me near the top of the tipping ladder! I loved being able to write reviews and features (and being retweeted by Arj Barker) but the best part of this whole experience has been meeting and working with the amazing editorial team; they have proven to be great co-workers and even better friends (aaaw). I will miss upstart a lot but am looking forward to a much quieter email inbox next semester!
My time at upstart was the best experience I’ve ever had at uni. As a subject, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. I’ll admit that at the start I was completely unprepared for this subject, I did not anticipate what the workload would be like or that I would be getting emails at 3am. But I loved it and by the end of it was talking about upstart like it was my baby. And though the lessons I learnt from working on this editorial team will stay with me forever, the most rewarding part of it was the amazing people I got to work with. I feel lucky to have been part of something where everyone had a real love for what they were doing. If you do one subject as part of your journalism course, make sure it’s this one.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the upstart team over the past three months. I didn’t realise just how much teamwork and organisation it takes to run a website like upstart — it has definitely been a crazy and full-on experience. From the very beginning I knew that the majority of my contribution would have a focus on arts journalism, as that is my main interest, but it’s such a broad area and it was hard to decide what I’d specifically like to concentrate on. I chose to write reviews of shows in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which was probably the most exciting part of my semester. Attending comedy shows as part of my assessment has definitely been a highlight of my uni life. It has been such a busy semester and very stressful at times, but as much as I have been desperately awaiting the end of it, I’m also going to be sad to let it go. Checking my emails has now become an obsession of mine, and the thought of having no new messages in my inbox every morning instead of the usual 20+ is actually quite depressing!
The best way I can describe my time at upstart – and sorry in advance for the cliché – is time sure does fly when you’re having fun. Working on the site, with such a multi-talented team, has been an invaluable experience. It gave me the opportunity to develop my writing and editing skills, and learn about online publishing – more work goes into operating a site than I initially thought. As upstart’s ‘all-rounder’, I wrote everything from music and television reviews, to sports articles and features, and it was exciting to see the response they received on social media. I won’t lie though; the subject is demanding. It was almost like having a full-time job. But of all the units I’ve taken at university, it has definitely been the most rewarding.
Although I only got to write for upstart for the first half of the semester, this subject has easily been the best (and sometimes most demanding) one I have completed. When I started, I had no idea what it would be like, and I was a little nervous about how I would go – I didn’t think I could write, edit and publish articles. I didn’t even know what I would be writing about! But upstart gave me the opportunity to do what I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and that’s travel writing. Ok, I didn’t get sent to the Bahamas or Las Vegas or anything like that, but I experienced Melbourne in a way I haven’t done in the entire 21 years I’ve lived here. I got to ride a horse, go to the top of the Eureka Tower and get a sneak peek at the King Tut exhibition – before anyone else did – just to name a few. I’ve gained so much experience, as I know the others have, and am grateful that I had the chance to be part of such a dynamic team!
They say that the older you get the faster time goes. Needless to say this semester has flown by quicker than any other, but I’m inclined to blame it on upstart, not on getting old! Being part of the upstart team has been the defining feature of this semester, keeping all of us very busy over the last fourteen weeks. It’s been great to have a platform to develop my own writing, but more than that it has been an excellent experience to work as part of a close-knit editorial team. The chance to be involved with upstart was one of the reasons I chose to study my Masters at La Trobe in the first place, and it has certainly paid off. Thank you to the rest of the team – you were brilliant!
I’ve enjoyed my time working with upstart. I’ve learned a lot about journalism, online editing and publishing and social media, together with a fantastic team. I am very thankful and happy to have been able to work with such an incredible and talented team, and I am sure we will all find our place in the media and we’ll always be a part of the upstart family.