There are many duties which any new editor of Nouse must quickly take in their stride. Tapping all the phones in the sabb office; keeping up to date with all the campus politicos (as if one society filled with overly-ambitious self-publicists wasn’t enough); trawling back through the Nouse archives to locate and eliminate every article you ever wrote that, you now know, libelled half the US Senate.
Add to these surviving your first production week, and celebrations are in order. You’re well on your way to becoming a full-blown two-bit student hack.
These challenges are faced by every intrepid young Editor when they take the reins of this esteemed newspaper, but there is one task which I now face that my predecessor never had to consider: writing an original Editor’s Note.
There have been Editor’s Notes for years, but they were short, factual pieces – to plug a particularly interesting feature, or give a rundown of what’s in the sports section. It was only when the last editor, in a move of glorious self-indulgence, instituted this 400-word monster bedecked with giant ‘N’ and matching kingfisher logo, that this column really took flight.
So, here’s my dilemma: how do I craft my own original Editor’s Note, without plagiarising from a full year of his Nouse-related ramblings. Could I perhaps talk about our name? No, he already did that (19/01/2016). Perhaps I could ruminate on our logo, or the many front pages that adorn the walls of our office? Nope, done (16/02/2016) and done (05/05/2016). I can’t even satirise this column itself: that opportunity was snatched away in his very last edition, at the beginning of this term.
But perhaps I’m trying too hard. When we sit down at our computers at the start of every production week, at the mercy of that cruel mistress InDesign, each team member is faced initially with a template of what came before. But every time the final paper will be entirely individual and their own.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that as the paper evolves, we evolve with it, building and adapting without losing sight of the excellent foundation that we’ve been handed. Empires rise and fall, editors come and go, but Nouse will always be here to serve: ready to report, rant and perhaps even occasionally enrapture. As Tywin Lannister would say: “it’s the name that lives on.”
And so I shall honour my predecessor’s legacy by continuing his self-aggrandising soliloquies, while being meticulously careful not to rehash any of them. And to any future editor, who, on sitting down to pen their first note finds themselves cursing the ingenuity of their forebears, be not too disheartened.
There’s always a meta way out.