Sundays in the Office: Behind the Scenes

As dearly as we at The Student love the yearly EUSA elections for all the excitement they bring about, we couldn’t help but feel rather drained after this year’s campaigning period ended last Thursday. We’re sensitive too, okay?! Consequently, we decided to keep things light-hearted for this week’s editorial with an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes of The Student, the UK’s oldest student newspaper (or so it says on our LinkedIn pro- fi les – and Wikipedia, to our defence). So if you’ve always wanted to know what goes down in the office on a Sunday, PM to AM, get excited – we’ve got a very special treat for you.

13.00 As Thurston works late on Saturday nights, Ilinca begins her day of editing by phoning her co-editor to make sure he is awake to make it to the office on time. Spoiler alert: he usually isn’t, which leaves Ilinca with a warm sense of accomplishment after hanging up the phone. First task of the day – check.

14.02 Sophie, The Student’s head copy editor and our saviour on Sundays, turns up at the office briefly after two and brings plenty of snacks. After all, sometimes a sugar high is the best way to numb the pain.

14.37 As Thurston has not arrived yet, Ilinca briefly worries that he has fallen back asleep.

14.43 Thurston arrives at the office.

15.15 Doctor John Wakely arrives to work on the crossword with Thurston. The devil’s in the details, Thurston.

15.40 With several copy editors in attendance, the office is filled with lively laughter and friendly chatter – just people having fun, discussing grammar. Topics of conversation include the passionate “This is NOT a sentence”, how to deal with situations when you really want to change a sentence but know you shouldn’t, and the rare but mighty “Wait a second…I swear I’ve read this article a few weeks ago”.

18.00 It’s time to decide on a topic for this week’s editorial. This will usually go somewhat like this – Ilinca: “I think we should do something funny this week, you know, to lighten things up a little.” Thurston: “I don’t really do funny.” The editorial usually ends up being very hard-hitting.

19.15 After dinner, it’s all about making the right choice when it comes to that much needed energy kick. The Student recommends Tropicana Energy: Boosted with Guarana – one of your five a day, no chemicals, but still gives you that anxious boost that the paper thrives on during the final push.

19.41 Or is it the final push? With anything from two to five pages still missing from The Student’s Dropbox and one or two section editors MIA (or jet setting around Europe), things could go either way. Fortunately, Thurston and Ilinca have adopted a rather laid-back attitude to deadlines. What even is a deadline? Que Sera, Sera.

20.34 You thought the horoscopes were purely made up? Think again. After eight at night, Ilinca transforms into her alter ego, Mystic Margaret™, in order to consult the stars for the weekly horoscope and lift the misty fog hanging over the future of our beloved readership. Popular Google searches include “what are the planets this week astrology”, “Jupiter in retrograde meaning for star sign love life” and “how to write authentic horoscope”.

20.45 One or more of the following will usually happen at this point: A wild bold print will appear. An image credit will disappear – or was it never there in the first place? The fine line between “it’s” and “its” thickens. The plot also thickens. Tensions run high.

22.00 At this point, Sophie will usually leave the office, and Thurston and Ilinca are suddenly on their own. This is when reality hits; it’s time to stop searching for that one specific cat post on Reddit, and finish copy-editing that match report.

22.15 “Hey, have you seen this video? It’s hilarious, and it’s only 15 minutes long – we have to watch it now!”

23.30 It’s time to start exporting the pages to PDF, which raises hopes of potentially finishing before midnight. Is this the real life, or is it just fantasy?

1.30 Two hours later, these hopes and dreams have been shattered by the editors’ keen eye for detail. No time to justify questionable design choices, but there’s always some extra time to justify the headlines. There will be some extensive zooming in and out, some “Thurston, it’s fine now, just leave it”, and shocked but relieved exclamations: “How on earth did we miss THIS?”

2.10 The pages have been sent to print via our speedy friend, Mr Filezilla. Ilinca will force Thurston to take a screenshot to make sure this was not all just a figment of their imagination. The editors feel weirdly at peace with the world and disappear into the comforting darkness of the night, hoping that the sport section did not accidentally end up on the front page.

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