Shelley’s Welcome Back

Shelley’s Welcome Back

From Shelley Termuende, Editor-In-Chief 

 In honour of Over the Edge’s 20th anniversary and the fact that this issue marks our 200th issue, we have compiled a list of our New Year’s resolutions for 2014. Over the Edge is committed to ensuring we follow through on these 10 key goals for 2014.

1.    Improving our notoriety on a national scale through Canadian University Press and the National Wire.

Over the Edge is a member of the national university and college student newspapers co-operation, which helps to provide services and editorial content for its member publications. One of the awesome services CUP provides is the opportunity for members’ content to be published on a nationally renowned newswire service which allows our stories to be republished in other members’ papers. This year alone, we have had our OTE content published on the wire increase by 100%. Last year, we had zero articles released to membership. This year we have had a steady stream of one article per issue, on average, proving to be strong enough for publication on the wire. It is no question, this increase in useable content is due to our amazing writers, contributors and editors. Their continued dedication to strong and informative content means our national influence and respect will only get better with each OTE publication.

2.    Establishing strong relationships with local businesses to improve our reputation,and ad revenue.

This semester we have garnered an unprecedented amount of ad revenue for our organization. As a non-profit, we are dependent on ad sales to keep us afloat. The majority of our student levies are currently being used to produce the bi-weekly print publication, and therefore we are relying on additional advertisements to secure our honorariums, attend Canadian University Press regional and national conferences, and finally, pay for our software and capital requirements such as Adobe Suite and Cameras. Ensuring we have a steady stream of ads means we can have our revenue match our expenditures.

Promoting ourselves within the community is a huge priority when it comes to securing our name locally. We can say great things about our publication but unless we can prove it, our word does not get us very far. This past year, we have had the pleasure of working with great community members while planning and conducting last October’s Western and Prairies regional conference. In addition, the support of the community has made it possible to achieve so much, for our little paper, through ad revenue and contributions, that we have to offer our extreme gratitude and thanks for their continued support throughout this year and into next.

3.    Supporting local food providers.

The opportunities for great, local food are always increasing in Prince George but are often underutilized by we university students. There are better and healthier alternatives to Eurest’s mass-produced diet. The Over the Edge team has always been committed to supporting the local University Farmers’ Market, The Bread Guy, the Corner Store (for that fast snack before class), your student union’s own Degrees coffee, and the Thirsty Moose Pub. I am not kidding when I say Degrees crafts a better Chai Tea Latte than Starbucks, and “the Moose” is on our shortlist for food providers for our upcoming Annual General Meeting on 30 January 2013.

4.    Acquiring grants for office capital, and software upgrades and creating summer employment opportunities.

We are taking the advice of CFUR radio – hoping to follow in their success – and will be applying for multiple grants in an attempt to create two new summer positions which are the continuation of our joint CFUR-OTE position of Multimedia Editor as well as a grant-writer and advertising specialist. We are also hoping to improve our office with the help of grant money. While we have been able to cover the awful state of our office walls with posters and picture frames, and hide our floor with desks and office chairs, it is clear our space needs some serious TLC.

5.    Better sports coverage!

Over the Edge’s sports section has always been a point of contention between our staff and with our readers. The main responses we have had to deal with include statements such as; “why bother, who reads that section anyway?” “If we wanted to know about sports, I wouldn’t look at OTE.” and my personal favourite, “Sports articles are boring and are all the same…where is the originality?”

It is no question our sports section has needed attention in the past, and it is more obvious still that a dedicated sports reporter and sports fanatic is needed in order to cover the section properly. Along with a passion for sports, this editor must be able to bring in their own unique style in order to draw in a loyal fan base. On our second sports editor this year, this section in particular is consistently improving. You have our word that as a team we are doing our very best to improve this section and are actively seeking out contributors – this could be an opportunity for you –  to report on WHL and AJHL games, CIS Varsity games with your UNBC Timberwolves, and local sports events. 2014 is already shaping up to be a big year in sports for Prince George and we are all gearing up for extensive coverage of the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

6.    Improving our out-of-print content and influence.

With the addition of our new position of Multimedia Editor, Over the Edge is going to be starting a weekly news and review blog on our website, we will be creating a social media promotion strategy including twitter, Instagram, vine and facebook to engage with our readers on a more diverse series of platforms. Our goal is to be able to compare to online intensive news providers in a hope to increase our online presence with original content.

7.    Increasing and strengthening our volunteer program and volunteer base.

While we have made huge strides with our volunteer base this year, we know that we could do a lot to improve our opportunities for our membership to get involved. We would like to see every one of our members be actively involved with our publication, after all you are paying for it, so why not make the most of it? We are always looking for people to take photos, write articles and provide us with content that you find interesting. Over the Edge is representing you, so tell us how we can do it better and how we can get you involved.

8.    Partnering up with other local media. CNC publications, CBC Radio North, The Prince George Citizen, and The Prince George Free Press for internships and job shadowing.

Job shadowing opportunities and internship opportunities have been in the planning stages for months. Over the Edge has tentative agreements with The Citizen and The Free Press, and we have already offered one of our CBC Radio internships to one of our contributors from across the divide at CFUR radio. This year, Over the Edge will be working on cementing job placements and outlining the conditions of these internships.

9.    Practicing Investigative Journalism.

While Over the Edge has made huge improvements in regard to our article content, the bar can still be raised. Last year, Over the Edge was able to assist in creating a safer walking pathway from Neyoh and Keyoh to the central university, and we were proud to offer an outlet for students to voice concerns and act to bring about positive change for the university as a whole. It is no question that in order to effectively change a current practice, or expose an unfavourable practice being conducted, research and attention to detail is fundamental. It is not an easy endeavor to investigate stories not commonly covered in media (locally or nationally) but we hope to see our editors divulge into the task, and we welcome you to join us in our pursuits.

10.    Great Hair, style, and natural sex appeal. (Which, let’s be honest, we always had and will always have).

No clarification needed. For proof, inspect the head of our culture editor, Tyson Kelsall. He is available at your discretion.