A year back, I was asked to be the Web Editor at DU Beat. Not having edited a single article in my life, I was unsure where that came from. Having been a student of Journalism, I knew a bit about the profession. But would I make a good editor? That was a question I didn’t have the answer to.
Today, after 10 months, of allotting, editing, filtering and a bit of bossing around, that tenure has come to an end. As I head out of the door and join the Ex-DUB editors’ club, here’s my goodbye note.
Starting with a bit of boasting – last year has been one of the key years for DU Beat as an organisation. We witnessed record growth in our readership and social media community and simultaneously explored new approaches to storytelling. The year saw us join Instagram and cross 500 followers in 15 days (the number crossed 1500 recently). We closed June 2013 with 11,000 Facebook followers; today the number has crossed 60,000. The fest season saw live updates. We experimented with different forms such as live blogging and video as well as interactive tools such as timelines and info graphics. It is not as much about numbers, as it is about the fact that we were doing something right. We know that there is still ample amount of potential that we hold as a news organisation, but we are constantly working towards getting better each day.
An outgoing DUBster (the cool name our team members associate with) recently said that the best thing about DU Beat is the creative space that you get here. This is a factor that is truly defined by the tagline our founders came up with – ‘Freedom of Expression’. It is also a right that we have been struggling with, during the past few years in the University. While there are strong voices from the student and teacher community against the administration, there is often an attempt to curb those. The University’s education structure has changed dramatically in the past three years, and from what is forthcoming, there are going to be even more changes. Last year we saw over 20 protests from DUTA members, most of which were against what they term as the VC’s ‘authoritative regime’ and the (un)popular FYUP. AISA’s referendum stated that 91% of the people who participated in the same were against the FYUP. Another feedback conducted by DUTA had 43 college faculty associations out of the 47 that participated, condemning the FYUP. Despite these voices, not much has changed. Yet this means that there are voices that need to be given space and amplified. As the current leadership of DU Beat steps back, and a new set takes over, we hope to be platform for the diverse voices this University is proud to have.
For all that we have been able to achieve as an organisation, I want to thank the team and our readers. Adding a bit of gratitude to my note, thank you Cheshtha for working in way where we could integrate the web and print operations. Another shout out to Priyanka Banerjee, the Associate Web Editor who always supported me when I came up with crazy ideas that most people thought were a lot of work. Thank you to each correspondent who often missed a lecture to cover a ‘boring’ event and photographers who spent the day constantly up on their feet, slogging in the sun. Whatever our readers saw happen to this space, is hugely because of them.
For times when we failed, I apologise and hope that the forthcoming leadership will learn from our mistakes. Speaking of which, it is a pleasure tell you that Niharika Singh will take over my position as the Web Editor. Further, Mridul Sharma and Vani Vivek will be stepping up as Associate Web Editors and Raghav Chopra as the Copy Editor.
Keep reading and keep voicing your opinion through your comments and feedback, for it is one way to keep track of when we go right, and when we are wrong.
It is indeed a ‘good’ bye. For today as I leave, DU Beat is in a good place (and in good hands).
Over to Niharika!
Web Editor (2013-14)
P.S.: I need to mention that serving this community has been the most fulfilling experience of my college life. If at any point you feel that you fit into this crazy place full of crazy people and have a keen inclination to learn and take bashing positively, drop us a mail at [email protected]. This organisation needs people like you.
Read the farewell note of Editor Cheshtha Gupta here.