After writing and editing for UEA’s student newspaper over the past two years, Dolly Carter became Concrete’s newest Editor-in-Chief. I had the pleasure of getting in touch with her for an inside scoop on her plans for Concrete this year.
Dolly has big goals for the newspaper in her time as Editor-in-Chief, starting with increasing readership across campus. Whilst she joked she feels like “that’s the aim of every Editor-in-Chief of every year group since we’ve been going,” she explained gaining more interest and involvement in the newspaper truly is the most important aspect of her role.
However, Dolly is not focusing solely on readership. She is also set on encouraging more students to write for the paper, telling me she wants to make sure “everybody has got a Concrete membership, and everybody is writing for Concrete.” There is no better way to bring the wider UEA community together than through “giving every student a voice” on the issues that matter most to them and Concrete does just that.
With the recent publication of the IPCC report declaring a “code red for humanity”, Dolly is committed to increasing the coverage of climate-related issues by Concrete. She explained: “it’s really our responsibility to make sure we are reporting […] and getting the message across to the student community as well as the staff community at UEA.”
As part of this goal, Concrete introduced the ‘Climate Change Corner’, a sub-category under the Science section to “make sure that we’ve always got regular coverage” on the issues that matter most. Dolly also said “we will be working with Norwich Science Festival and UEA’s ‘Climate of Change’ programme” in the upcoming year.
The Breaking News team is another invention brought into fruition this year at Concrete. “They’ve already started doing great work and they’ve been covering some fantastic things really quickly”. Dolly remembered how the pandemic prevented Concrete from publishing more than two in-print issues last year, but with the emergence of the Breaking News team, Concrete has been able to report on news quickly and succinctly over the summer.
In the year of Concrete’s thirtieth birthday, the importance of social media in drawing attention to the paper is as important, if not more so, than ever before. Dolly told me, “we’ve got a great social media manager already doing fantastic things, and the graphics are getting brilliant responses.” The greater emphasis on the huge potential of social media in engaging readers this year has meant that students’ work is getting a much bigger spotlight – another priority for Dolly.
Despite the heavy workload that comes with being the Editor-in-Chief of Concrete, Dolly still has time to write multiple articles for each issue. On behalf of us mere mortals out there, I asked how she is able to manage such a busy schedule. Dolly modestly commended the whole team for their role in making each publication as good as it can be and their ability “to work really cohesively together”, as well as singing praise to good old-fashioned time management and organisation. No magic potions, I’m afraid!
There are lots of exciting things to come this year, from putting spotlights on the heroes of UEA’s community to a 30th birthday bash, and Dolly does not want you to miss a thing.
For more information on how to get involved with Concrete in its 30th year, visit the ‘Get Involved’ tab at concrete-online.co.uk.