It’s almost a year to the day, as I write this, that I was interviewed for the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Express. At the time, naturally, I was terrified. I wanted the job but at the same time, unaware of those I was competing against, I wasn’t sure I was the right candidate. As the interview proceeded, I slowly began losing confidence in myself and very quickly began to doubt if this was the right move at all. Upon leaving the room I thought my time was up. I’d screwed it. Had you told me a year ago I’d be here, writing my final editorial I would have laughed at you. Funny how life goes.
I started writing for the Express in November of 2015. I emailed the music editor at the time asking if I could be of any use and quickly got a response asking me to draft an article off a press release. From my recollection, I believe it was a piece on the rise of the Norwegian singer Aurora, who had just recorded the soundtrack for that year’s John Lewis Christmas advert. I wrote it as quickly as I could, trying to be of as much use for Express as possible. Week by week, I was slowly sent more and more press releases to work on, more articles to write until finally, around January of 2016, I wrote my first feature. I still remember it well, it was an analysis of the influence of Kanye West’s (Typical, I know!) album ‘808’s and Heartbreak’. My first full page article. It now sits, ripped from the pages of the paper, framed in my room at home.
For the next three years, I worked my way up the ladder of the Express and have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic writers. Be it in my role as Music Editor, Byline Editor or Editor-in-Chief, I’ve been privileged to work with some of UCC’s best and brightest writers and editors, and it’s been a pleasure throughout.
This has been a tough year, full of highs and lows, from the racism survey to the Watson building renaming, be being the Editor of this paper has been one of the best things I’ve done, and I would highly recommend anyone with an interest to get involved. Being a part of this fantastic publication, to see my name in print every fortnight, gave me the confidence I needed to demand more from myself, and it helped me to strive for perfection in every other aspect of my life. To be honest, I don’t know where I’d be without it, or more importantly who I’d be. Without the help of editors past, I would never have been able to see myself as an editor of the future. Without their help, I’m not even sure I’d even be writing. It’s hard to say goodbye at times, but I know I’ve tried my best to leave the Express in the best position I possibly could, both reputationally, editorially and financially.
I wish to thank all of our editors and writers this year for their fantastic hard work and commitment, and in particular to our Byline Editor Ciara who has been of great help when the going got tough. You’ve all put in hours of hard work on the Express’s behalf and for that I thank you and I couldn’t be more appreciative. I know the Express is in great hands, and I can’t wait to watch from afar and see what the future holds.