I am writing this editorial shortly after taking off from Prague Airport following a visit to meet my partner’s new baby brother. Much to our delight, Filip arrived with us in February this year but, much to our horror, we have been unable to visit him for a full nine months due to Covid restrictions on travelling to the Czech Republic.
Though we only managed to stay for a matter of days, as my partner must return to work, and I am needed for Concrete lay-up week, we managed to pack in an enormous amount during that time. However, visits to Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, and Charles Bridge paled in comparison to the valuable time we spent cuddling Filip, watching him fall asleep on walks, playing with his Peter Rabbit toy, and trying to convince him that mushy carrots are indeed the food of gods. And just like that, our time with Filip was up. Suitcases packed, we returned to the airport with dejected looks on our faces, wondering where on earth the time went.
Of course, time does not spare us here at Concrete either. We’ve whizzed through a total of four issues this year, finding ourselves halfway through the eight in-print issues we plan to publish during the 21/22 academic year. It feels as if my time as Editor-in-Chief is finishing before it has even begun, so I would like to take a moment to reflect on our achievements this semester.
We’ve hired and trained our 38-member strong team who never cease to amaze me with their dedication to ensuring Concrete continues to deliver high quality student journalism. Our newest recruits, Features Senior Writer Lily Boag, Sport Senior Writer Metin Yilmaz, Copy Editor Julia Reynolds, and Online Editors Ray Khawaja and Rianna Jones have more than lived up to my expectations and have settled in to the publication process beautifully. Our Breaking News team are also in full swing, so make sure to stay tuned for regular updates on the Concrete website!
At the beginning of the year, we spoke with a huge amount of you who visited the Concrete stand at the Societies Fair and congregated in Lecture Theatre 3 for our annual ‘Big Meet’. Alongside this, we also launched the brand new ‘Concrete how-to guide’ which can be found via the ‘Get Involved’ tab on the Concrete website!
With the help of our Social Media Manager Badriya Abdullah, we’ve managed to revolutionise our social media output by posting regular article highlights on our Instagram and Twitter.
By the time this issue has been published, we will have concluded our collaboration with UEA to deliver ‘Report for the Future’, their pilot climate journalism program as part of our commitment to delivering consistent, accurate, and timely climate coverage.
Another project I’ve been working on is the brand new ‘Concrete Crash Course’ which consists of four workshops covering topics such as distinguishing between Comment and Features, writing Arts reviews, nailing interview technique, and getting to grips with News articles. These will be running from 6th December and can now be booked via the uea.su website.
I was also delighted to record our first episode of the ‘Concrete Conversations’ podcast with News Editor Una Jones last week – keep an eye on our social media accounts for more details on how to listen to this soon!
Upon reflection, I realise we have achieved an awful lot and, much like baby Filip in Prague, Concrete is growing every day. So, as I am left thinking about the souvenir baby sock and handprint packed ever so carefully into my suitcase, I wonder when we will be able to see Filip again, whether he’ll be walking (or even running) by our next visit, and what his first words may be. Then I stop and think to myself – how time flies. Let’s make the most of every moment.