Following on from Exeposé Comment Online’s ‘5 Things We’ve Learned Whilst Being Comment Editors‘, Online Features Editors Meg Lawrence and Imogen Watson go – as always – one step better, outlining what we’ve learnt in the past year editing the Features section…
1. Feminism is still a hot topic
Whether it be ‘Blurred Lines’, The Sun’s Page 3, Lily Allen’s ‘Hard Out Here’, or any other issue that has graced our section of Exeposé Online this year, plenty of people have thoughts on misogyny, sexism and feminism in general. Even in 2014, it appears we haven’t solved the problems in equality between the two genders, and there are opinions which abound in all directions.
2. There are a lot of things we need to talk about, and a lot of things to have opinions on
This year we’ve spent a considerable amount of time reading, editing, publishing and being entertained by two of our columnists as they pick a different topic every fortnight to inform us about. From Michael Gove, to Facebook and to Scotland, if you weren’t already aware of the vast number of things happening in our little corner of the world here in Exeter, Fran Lowe and Will Cafferky were here to help.
3. Equally, science is fascinating
Unsurprisingly, most of Exeposé’s editors are not scientists. The vast majority are – wait for it – English Literature students. The two of us excepting, of course. There’s no problem with this, only it is rather lovely when somebody comes along and starts to teach you things you’d never thought of before. The way beauty feels, the falsity of the colour yellow and potential life on Mars – we at Features Online have never quite read anything like it. And it’s been fantastic. Thank you, Catherine Heffner, for broadening our minds.
4. Students do some amazing things
This year in Features we’ve been looking to showcase some of the incredible, wacky, most brilliant things that members of the student body do. We’ve read about years spent in Tajikistan and Jordan, as well as businesses created and competitions won. The student population at Exeter University is vast and diverse, and it has been a pleasure to learn more about it this year.
5. The Middle East is incredibly complicated
Thea Osborne has spent the year explaining situations across the Middle East and North Africa which, as we all know, is a minefield for action and difficulty. One year on and we’re much wiser but also wiser to the fact that we have no idea when anything will be solved so people living there can begin to build a better life for themselves.
6. There is always something happening…
… and inevitably we always miss something out. When we draft our content calls to writers, there is a wealth of inspiration for us to suggest options to choose from… And we usually get articles sent to us that we’d never even considered. Features has ranged this year from arachnophobia, to space travel, to grammar and to Black History Month. It doesn’t end there, of course, and our minds have only been enlightened for all the content we have read.
7. Politicians are stubborn
Whether in their beliefs or in their actions, politicians stick to their guns. You might have thought this obvious, but researching, writing and editing has only proved this to us. The rise of UKIP, assessments of the atrocious Prime Minister’s Questions, Syrian government officials… The list goes on. And, for heaven’s sake, the government of the United States shut down because the two parties couldn’t agree on the country’s entire governing budget… Children, honestly.
8. To end on some sentimentality, you don’t need to have known each other for forever…
Elected to our positions as we were in March 2013 and taking over our editorial roles in April (how time flies…) we met only for the first time in August in the Houses of Parliament in order to interview Ben Bradshaw. Despite initial worries that Meg was too quiet or Imogen was too full of herself (both of course completely unfounded), it took all of approximately a month for the ‘married couple’ comments to start flowing in our direction in full form.
It’s been a blast, and we only hope your new Online Features Editors, Fran Lowe and Kayley Gilbert, enjoy it as much as we have.
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