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Dave Ryan on the return of printed news to NUIM

It has been somewhat of a running joke in years past that the quality of Maynooth’s student newspaper has been, for want of a better term, crap. Badly written, formatted and edited, it’s primary value seemed to be unintentional comedy. Whatever the reasons were, the publication, under the guise of The Spoke or indeed The Print, found themselves incapable of in-depth reporting on legitimate student news on local or national levels. The magazine was largely composed of mediocre fluff pieces and the odd interview.

When he was on last year’s campaign trail, Rob Munnelly promised a radical change in The Print. We said at the time:

 

“Rob wants a complete overhaul of the publication, putting the blame for previous failures upon a lack of man hours and training. He says that under his administration, such failures would be a thing of the past and we could expect a new and improved level of student journalism (though quite frankly, the only way the quality can really go is up.)”

From ‘Cutthroat Question Control, swans, and Javascript’ – Feb 2010*

The Observer was hesitant to believe this because, after all, we had heard this every year. If anything, The Print had been getting worse. But the electorate were swayed by Munnelly’s ambition and he was elected, giving him the chance to implement these changes. He made bold promises in an interview we conducted with him in September. He said to us:

 

“….The Print is going to be excellent. You won’t have seen anything like it. It’s going to be the best student newspaper you’ve ever seen. It’s going to be so good.”

From ‘The Big Interview: Robert Munnelly‘ , Sept 2010**

So last week, we finally had the chance to see could Maynooth produce a half decent student newspaper. The result? An absolute home run. The first issue of the reborn Print is an astounding improvement on previous administrations. Now, I’m no good at estimates, but I’d say it’s about a million per cent better. The paper itself is now printed as a proper newspaper, not glossy magazine rubbish. Content aside, the fact that it is presented in newspaper format grants The Print an air of legitimacy that has been beyond absent in the past.

To avoid this becoming an article about reviewing articles (for fear I may create a logic loop on par with googling the word ‘google’), I will simply just list a couple of highlights.

-Rob’s article on recent violence, twinned with cover story about Maynooth’s recent attacks were both sobering and informative, on an issue that is of crucial importance to the student body.

– By unanimous decision, our favourite correspondent of the first issue is Donal Fallon. His article, “No other college has a similar institution”, is absolutely brilliant. More of him, please.

– The SU report and Comment sections are both very well done, and badly needed.

– On a comedic note, the middle page, “Infographic: Security problems on campus”. To some, a public service announcement about how blissfully unaware we are of compromised security issues on campus. To others, it is a burglar’s wet dream of an article, illustrating where best to steal stuff.

To conclude, The new Print is a mighty breath of fresh air? Can this quality be achieved in future issues? Can it rival leading student newspapers as Rob Munnelly defiantly stated it would? Time will tell. It will require sustained committment from its contributors and, much like us, if you want to see something in it in future, why not get up off your arse and write it? Who knows, you might actually be good at it….

-Dave Ryan

* https://stobserver.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/article-from-the-blogspot-vault-vp-comms-and-dev-hustings/

** https://stobserver.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/the-big-interview-rob-munnelly/

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