Written by Hussein
BA Hons Multimedia Journalism
First-year Multimedia Journalism students were tasked to create a magazine for our Features and Online class this semester. The assignment was already quite large and daunting but Covid-19 has taken it to an entire different level. We had two magazines that was led by Emily Keogh and myself, Hussein Malek, as the Editor in Chiefs to see the project through planning, execution, and submission.
The assignment at hand included a 36 page magazine, as well as a social media component for marketing and promotion purposes. The editors must manage 20-something contributors of the class and give the necessary tools to complete the work needed. The work included finding stories, hosting interviewees, writing up a piece, designing a page, finding images, and so many more technical and editorial details that’s difficult to capture through a short summary.
One of the last few Tuesday’s we had face to face teaching for this subject, allowed both groups to define a structure of roles for certain people to take lead on varying aspects, as well as begin addressing and drafting a magazine concept and look. Since the pandemic has forced us under lockdown, we had to find alternative routes to completing the task. Social media has greatly facilitated the communication and work needed to carry out between both groups. The lecturers has laid down weekly Zoom calls to consistently check up on both magazines as well as teaching us the foundations of magazine making. Additionally, Bournemouth University has found a way for us to access an editing software, InDesign, from home. This was a major resource that was necessary for the magazine to take place and being able to have access of it away from campus is simply relieving.
Perspective – Seminar A: Hussein Malek
“This magazine poses challenges between independent learning, time management, and communication skills. As a group we had to quickly agree on ideas, learn specific content laid out by our lecturers, and be independent to completing the roles we upheld. Being able to have the InDesign software and hosting the weekly calls with our lecturers greatly improved in providing structure to the process. In the end we completed the task based for a magazine concept on pop culture with hosting several interviews from TikTok Stars, boxing celebrity, and an artist. Such a task would not have been able to complete without the support of the leaders, lecturers, and cooperation of the team.”
“The experience without the pandemic is a challenging one, add the factor that we could not meet face to face and collaborate on one document with ease at one time meant the level of difficulty was elevated. Everyone’s health and well being is always at the front of our minds. However, being able to be considerate of people’s circumstances, dealing with challenges and issues that arose because of the pandemic and knowing that all members of the group would have highs and low meant that sensitivity was imperative. It was difficult to know when to push and when to give people time when it came to deadlines whilst trying to be considerate to what the individual was facing.
The university, Andy Bissell, and the features and online team were a great support in terms of ensuring that we kept to deadlines, reassuring us in our moments of doubt, guiding us towards professionalism and helping us to create a magazine we were all incredibly proud of.”
On the whole, the task had its ups and downs and there are so many events that unfolded in the two months we worked on the magazine, but being able to produce such pieces whilst being limited on resources. Not a lot of 19-20 year olds can say they went from no-experience to making a magazine over two months during a pandemic. While remaining strong through the tough times this assignment has pushed us farther as professionals, farther into our career experiences, and farther than any other journalist that doesn’t face such a challenge.