The Editor for the Courier debate was moderated by student Holly Mawdsley and current Editor Louise Hall who directed specific questions on manifesto points and omissions to the candidates: Ally Wilson, Grace Dean, Xin Li, Harry Parsons, Scarlett Rowland and Sidney Pinsent.
Scarlett and Ally were called on to clarify their points on social media: Ally would like one social media manager for the whole paper, whereas Scarlett’s intention is for a manager per section because of the quantity of work social media involves. Grace’s point to increase the ‘poetry/photography box’ section of the paper, where students display their creative work, was challenged by Scarlett who noted a lack of enthusiasm from students for this at present. Grace noted that it was her intention to involve creative societies such as Cresoc and the photography society to make the paper a better medium to display student creativity. Xin spoke about her hopes to involve more international students in the paper, and for more content about both Newcastle culture and international student culture, she also expressed an intention to improve the website as was common among the candidates.
Sidney challenged his peers in his promise to improve readership rather than distribution which Ally, Grace, Harry and Scarlett all included specifically to work on within their manifestos. Ally spoke about extending the Monday distribution round to include halls of residence, and Grace emphasised that she would target eating outlets and social spaces to place the Courier, noting that students rarely pick up the paper on their way to lectures. Scarlett was questioned on her manifesto point to reintroduce the paid distribution role and Harry came up with an idea to research where the popular places for Courier placement were, and to use this for distribute in the most effective way.
There was a lot of content to get through in the short hour session considering there were six candidates all with varied manifestos. It was a popular debate with a high turn out from students involved especially in student media all curious to see what the 2019/ 2020 Courier Editor, and student media coordinator will bring to Newcastle Student’s Union.