From 1stof October Nádudvari Nóra will not be the editor-in-chief for our paper. In the interview with her we talked about her experience, the many things that happened with the paper in the past year and about her decision stepping down.
Szinapszis: Back in the day what has lead you to apply for the position?
Nádudvari Nóra: Back in high school I have worked with the school paper, thus I had experience with journalism before. Also, being editor-in-chief requires good organising skills and excellent work ethic which I thought I was good at. Furthermore, I think that copy editing is something I would gladly do in the future. Whilst reading the recent papers struck me that I would like to continue with the values I stand by amplifying it with the opportunities the internet has to offer.
Sz: From where did you get the idea that the new “home” for Szinapszis should be online?
N. N.: Our generation’s primary source of information, news, events is the internet, no need to deny that. Therefore, it was obvious that we should focus on online appearance, the sooner the better. This is much faster, easier to access and cheaper platform for a paper like ours. Furthermore, with the online platform we could broaden our spectrum: this way we could upload videos, share picture galleries without any limitations of an actual paper. With this we are much more environment-friendly which was one of the most important argument for moving online. As I was wandering around campus, I saw that there are many papers went to waste even after weeks of release. Moreover, I consider myself lucky as being an inexperienced editor-in-chief it is much easier to publish online as there are special works which must be done before it goes to print. The deadlines are not that strict and it’s easier to modify the text even in the last minute.
Sz.: Just like a traditional paper, the online version has headings by means of the days of the week. Can you tell me more about how this idea came by?
N. N.: As in the previous version of the paper we had given keywords that didn’t change over time, around which we could build up articles. We wanted to make something similar to that, something that will eventually become part of every student’s daily life. This calculability is good for both the writers and for the readers.
Sz.: Moving online was a giant step, is there anything else you have developed in the last year?
N. N.: I worked hard to establish a lasting bond with and within the team. It is really important in such a diverse team of people to listen to everyone’s needs and to set down the requirements for each position. As we are in students studying in different fields, sometimes it can be hard to find the common ground and time to work together. However, this diversity and different way of thinking that comes from the different faculties is why the team and the paper itself is so divergent yet has a coherent product: the Szinapszis. My goal was to have students from each faculty and from each year; I am really glad that we could achieve this goal almost completely.
We launched the paper’s Instagram account as well which is a brand-new thing too. With this we wanted to create a platform where we can communicate in a more personal style and draw attention to our recently published articles.
Since this September the articles are also available in English, the goal was clear: to involve foreign students in the university’s life as much as we can. And, of course, it’s good for language learning too.
I’ve organized staff meetings every two weeks, where we could talk about the upcoming articles, notable events, and participation in them. These meetings also allowed us to form friendships and be more than co-workers.
A head for each topic/heading was also appointed, responsible for the given day’s visual and written material, this has made working together much easier and more organized. Of course we also had harder times, as we are students too. The weeks before exam period, the midterms, they all put us to the test, since studying was still the number one priority for us. However, we have tried our best to overcome the obstacles, and I think we have succeeded.
Sz.: Video interviews are also new, we haven’t seen them previously…
N. N.: Yes, going online also allowed us to publish content in this form. Every Tuesday, we had a video interview with different lecturers, students, and others in unique life situations. We have a dedicated team responsible for these videos, currently two cameramen and one interviewer, however we talk about the topics to be discussed with the whole staff beforehand, to get a better idea of the readers’ interests. Organizing this turned out to be a real challenge, it requires at least four people to be free at the same time, and we must find a place for the interview too.
Sz.: After all, why did you decide to quit as editor in chief?
N. N.: Over the past year I’ve been able to implement many of the ideas we have had, and was part of an editorial team that is still evolving to this day. In a community like that it was easy to feel motivated and inspired, even though it meant working several hours every day, managing all the different platforms – the website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. We also had a lot of work during the summer, making changes based on feedback, writing the new articles, so I didn’t have much free time even after the exam period. With the start of the new semester I realised that this kind of work was no longer compatible with my studies. As a fifth year student, I feel increasingly responsible for my work as a future doctor, and I felt that it was difficult for me to do well in my academic life and editorial work. I also wanted to avoid not being able to do my best.
Sz.: Have you thought about writing articles for Szinapszis after this?
N. N.: Yes, of course. I’ve gained a lot of experience over the past year, which I believe could be of further benefit to our paper. Proofreading was also my job, so I knew our writers’ work more thoroughly. That’s why I’m happy to help with the transition, as it is in the interest of the students, readers, and the staff to make this as smooth as possible.
Sz.: As an editor-in-chief you set the standard quite high. What do you wish for your successor?
N. N.: I trust that the next chief editor will be able to establish a similarly good relationship with the staff members and the different committees of the Student’s Union, that will make their job a lot easier. I also hope that they find the work I left behind worthy, and that they will continue Szinapszis in a similar spirit as I did.
Cover: Morvai Levente
Photos: Barta Bálint