by Matthew Moynihan
There is, I must admit, a ludicrous level of irony in the writing of this month’s editorial. By publishing the last editorial of my tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Motley, I am making myself, albeit temporarily, unemployed. A perfect starting point for an issue themed on “The Future of Work”. It occurs to me that this is a fitting end to a year like no other for this publication, etched in novelty and growth in equal measures.
Personally, I am delighted that I will be taking on a new position with the University Express in September as News Editor. Given the spirit of cooperation myself and Fiona Keeley, as Editors, have attempted to foster between our two publications, I believe that this is a positive move both personally and professionally and is an extension of that work.
The unity of student media outlets within our university, as symbiotic organs, is crucial. UCC’s student media is broad, diverse, and of course competitive, but the future funding and operation of student media requires us all to remain collaborative, and to pool our collective influence to prevent any financial or administrative cuts whether that’s at Motley, UCC FM, the University Express, Breac, Stíl, Campus Narrative or Polity.
We have in Kieran Hurley, an incredible advocate for the power of student journalism, and we have him to thank for the continuing funding we receive as publications and entities. He is a tireless supporter of our work, and I don’t think he gets enough recognition for this. From all the team at Motley, thank you!
Questions often get raised about the purpose of student media. Most commonly queries postulate as to what end it serves, for whom’s benefit and at whom’s cost. The answers we derive must be clear, consistent and continuously battled for: that is, that the unique selling point of UCC’s student media ecosystem is that it helps students develop their voice and develop the personal, professional and graduate attributes required of them by their future professions. These are the values espoused by the University itself, and as such, any attempt at cutting future funds should be viewed as an undermining of our University’s core values.
Student media offers our community the opportunity to be active citizens, to hone their thoughts and to pose an opposition to the societal challenges they face on a daily basis. To our readership here at Motley, and on behalf of the entire student media ecosystem, our message is clear: we will continue to fight to protect these vital and valuable resources and build on the major investments the University has made in recent years, particularly with the new radio station.
In my three years at UCC, I have seen the power our media apparatus has to propel the careers of young journalists. I started my journalism career at UCC as a cowering and nervous wreck who hadn’t the confidence to articulate myself, to trust my own voice or to even attempt to help others develop that same voice.
I finish my degree with a personal landscape, “all changed, changed utterly” and I attribute this to the hard work of all those who placed faith in me, and as Editor-in-Chief, I have sought to pay this faith forward. We have given creative space to countless new voices, which greatly aided Motley’s feat of receiving fourteen SMEDIA nominations in 2021; more than any other student publication in the country.
For Motley, the future of our work is transforming. The digital landscape offers huge opportunities, but the supremacy and prestige of print remain imperative cogs in our journalistic engine going forward. September will likely see a return to print, with a “vaccine bonus” allowing for the beautiful smell of fresh ink on freshly bound pages to return. This publication and its incoming editorial team, will both be shaped by and shapers of the employment landscape that emerges post-pandemic.
For each of this year’s team, I can say with certainty that their futures are unfathomably bright. Until then I want to thank my colleagues and our readers for giving me this amazing platform and opportunity to develop personally and professionally – it has been life changing.
I want to thank my team individually, Rebeckah, Kaia, Molly, Kane, Grace, Nicole, Jack, Hilary, Tim, John, Emma, Niamh, Rebecca, Emer, Stephen, Alana, Diego, Erica, Carly, Cian, Kevin, Ronan and Conor. The magazine has grown so much with your hard work. I thank you all, and look forward to seeing a Pulitzer out of one of you some day.
For now, slán agus sláinte.