Something that has never failed to amaze me is just how much the world changes, in ways both big and small, between the release of each monthly issue of Motley. Holding the position of editor gives you a unique view of that world, as you respond to those changes everyday. Something you don’t expect, though, is a global event that completely changes how we live and calls so much into question. For the past two months, the world has come together by staying apart, and we have all had to adapt our lives to protect everyone we know and everyone we don’t know around this planet we call home. I’m not afraid to admit that I have been struggling to put onto paper just how I feel about the entire situation, whilst also reminiscing and bringing to a close such a fantastic year for student journalism here in UCC.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of both is ‘challenge.’ As human beings, everyday we are faced with different obstacles. Some are smaller and personal in scale, while others have a global impact. What obstacles both small and large have in common, however, is the way in which we overcome them. I look around the world today and feel incredibly inspired by those who are giving their time and effort to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The perseverance, determination and courage we have seen in the past few months have crystallised what it means to be human.
The pandemic has shaken our society to its core, and unfortunately, so many people have been lost. To anyone who has lost loved ones or friends, the entire team here at Motley would like to send our condolences and best wishes to you and your families. I know these words probably feel quite distant and of little help in a time like this, but I hope that the warmth and positivity of this final issue of Motley for the year can help to give some respite from everything that is happening.
Twelve months ago, if you had told me that in a year’s time I would have had the pleasure of leading and working alongside such a passionate and talented group of young writers I would have laughed you out the door. I’m happy today to have been proven wrong. When I took over as Editor-In-Chief of Motley Magazine I was incredibly excited but also petrified, having the reputation of one of the most respected student publications in Ireland on my shoulders – quite big shoes to fill. However, I soon came to realise that I didn’t have to do it on my own, because I had the best team an Editor could ask for.
Our editorial staff have been incredibly steadfast in their commitment to making this year Motley’s best year yet, and I am incredibly proud of everything we have accomplished together. From our coverage of international events and politics to the abundance of creative, musical, and literary talent on our own front doorstep, Motley has served as a portal into both our own city and the wider world, which is something I am very happy to have been a part of.
Thanks to the efforts of our team we have had an exceptional year, from being named Best Student Publication in Ireland by the Student Publication Association and earning nominations for Best Magazine Design at the National Student Publication Association Awards and Best Student Media Outlet at the 2020 USI Student Achievement Awards. It has been an incredibly fruitful time for us as a team. We increased our readership, introduced many new students to the wonderful work and creative talent of students here in UCC and completed a switchover to printing 100% recycled paper, a goal which had been taken up passionately by our entire team since day one.
No final editorial is complete without acknowledgements of the work put in by our team this year, and for a sappy sentimental person like myself, I just have to do this. Our current affairs section has seen a fantastic response from those interested in the world around them, and I want to say thank you to our CA team led by Maeve McTaggart and Molly Kavanagh who led the charge, even in busier months. Features has been one of our most successful sections this year, and that speaks volumes for the fantastic work put in by the one-woman powerhouse herself, Méabh Lonergan. The Entertainment section was of course incredibly entertaining, major thanks to our Ents team. Fashion has been absolutely electric this year thanks to the dedication and creative genius of Paul McLauchlan. All of you are incredibly talented and I am very honoured to have been able to alongside you all for the past year.
However, behind the scenes there are actually quite a lot of other people working to make Motley the best it can possibly be. Firstly, to my Deputy Editor Laurie Shelly for helping to keep the boat on course, and cleaning house when it came to the actual editing process. To our amazing in-house designer Tim Caruso who has taken Motley to an entirely new level when it comes to visual creativity. To our Public Relations Officer Matthew Moynihan, who took up the task of building a presence for Motley online, and developing our magazine as a brand. To our staff writers Sadhbh O’Sullivan, Kane Geary O’Keeffe, Niamh Browne and Alana Daly Mulligan, for giving me the pleasure of reading the most inspired and unique pieces of student journalism I have seen in all my years here in UCC.
This is an incredibly bittersweet moment for me as I move onto the next stage of my life, leaving Motley in the very capable hands of the next Editor-In-Chief, Matthew Moynihan. Although I am incredibly sad to be leaving Motley behind, I know that I have left it in the safe arms of a person who loves this publication just as much as I do, and I cannot wait to see what Matt and his team accomplish in the year ahead. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank one of the most influential people I met during my time here in UCC, former Motley Editor Lucas Brun, who took me under his wing as Entertainment Editor and showed me everything that student media had to offer, and I can never thank him enough for that.
Everything I have accomplished this year is thanks to the hard work and dedication of those around me. I couldn’t have done it without the best team – no, the best family – a person could ask for. I am incredibly grateful for all the lessons I have learned, the skills I have developed and the experiences I will take with me as I move forwards. Looking back at the shy, uncomfortable, introverted person I was on orientation day in first year, I have come so far in so little time, and I also have student media and UCC to thank for that.
To quote my favourite show Doctor Who, “you’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people you used to be.” I won’t forget a single day of this experience. I will leave you to enjoy the long awaited final issue of Motley for this year. If you have any questions about student media or just want to stay in touch, my Twitter handle is @JournoManDan – never be afraid to DM me if you would like to talk! To end on one nerdy but incredibly poignant Doctor Who reference, “Motley… I let you go.”