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Mancunion Editor Election March 2012: Candidates & Manifestos


Dear contributors,

Below are the manifestos of the candidates running to be editor of The Mancunion for the next academic semester (September – December 2012).

Take a look at them and then come to cast your vote on 21st March in Academy 3 in the Students Union building on Oxford Road. Please aim to be there for 5.30pm.


Candidate: Richard Crook


What is your vision for The Mancunion next term?

The Mancunion is a great newspaper ran by a team of dedicated editors and dependent on fantastic contributors. But I believe it can be even better.


Our website is fantastic and Lloyd has done an amazing job pulling it up from nothing. But we need to get the URL out there. Some simple yet effective changes can do this.

Get our website on every Uni computer screensaver.

QR codes for every section. Anyone with a smartphone can put their camera in front of the QR code and be taken to that section of the paper online. We can use this to incorporate more multimedia into our articles too.

Greater Social Networking presence. Some of the most read articles on the site are there not just because they’re a good read, but because they’ve been well publicised.

More efficient content uploading and encourage frequent contributors to get involved.

Expand the website to include a space for groups like RAG, Student action and Fuse.


Most people don’t go into the Union. Get them around campus, in Hall bars, canteens, bus stops.

Endeavour to offer a subscription to alumni.


Sometimes we get overlap. It’s no one’s fault, but it’s inevitable if one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. Communication between sections where overlap is possible is crucial.

More communication with societies. Advertise ourselves as an open shop that people feel they can come to us with stories.

Encourage contributors to use the offices and the computers sitting there. It would encourage more cross-section writing and make for a more inclusive paper.

Bring in someone to build official relationships with companies, theatres, restaurants for press packs, offers and competitions.

News/Magazine distinction:

More news focused. Comment, features, politics, science and business are all news related sections. Editorials are important and popular, but we need a clearer distinction between the two when going through the paper.

Keep the fun. Some readers come for our news, but others come for more light-hearted pieces. It’s important that whilst encouraging serious stories, we don’t lose sight that our readership is diverse.

Advertise and preview what’s going on around Manchester for students, whether it’s cinema listings or a book fair preview. Exploit the resources of the city and hook readers with listings like local papers do.

Curse this blasted word limit!


What has been your level of involvement with the publication?


I started contributing for the paper in my first year largely by writing feature pieces for the Politics and Film section. When the incoming Editor offered me the chance to take over his position as Features Editor in my 2nd year, I happily accepted. As the sole editor of two pages, it has been a challenging but rewarding experience. I have aimed to make Features a diverse and engaging read, not limiting the audience and exploring a number of issues. I’ve relished in the freedom to write and edit pieces that range from the NHS reforms to lower-league football.

This year alone I have contributed a total of around 13,000 words for The Mancunion in the 15 issues we’ve had at the time of writing. If I’m not writing, my job is to help organise, assist in and edit 2,000-2,500 word in-depth articles each week. The length of features and research required means it has been at times difficult to find committed writers, but I have endeavoured to showcase pieces that are fresh and original. Thankfully, some fantastic contributors have helped me achieve this with their work.

Beyond features, I have shown a broad range of interests since I started writing for The Mancunion by offering contributions to News, Politics, Film and Theatre, as well as collaborating with Sport. If Food and Drink ever pursue the “tasting complimentary fine and expensive whiskey” feature piece I recently pitched, I will add that. My wide-ranging writing interests have made me defensive of all the sections, and believe they each have a role to play next year.


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Candidate: James Watts


What is your vision for The Mancunion next term?


If elected, I would introduce a ‘Rants’ section, to which anyone can contribute a rant on a topic that they wish to get off their chest. I believe this would further widen the paper’s appeal and the range of subjects it covers each week. This is also a very therapeutic style of writing and often humorous, creating a good contrast with the more serious articles towards the front of the paper.

I would also look at adding a ‘television’ section, possibly amalgamating it with the current Film section. With BBC iPlayer, 4OD and similar devices being frequently utilised, as well as many students having TVs in their student houses, I think the paper is lacking such a section. People love to discuss what they’re watching as shows unfold week by week, and a ‘television’ section would provide such an outlet.

Whilst I have very much enjoyed reading the columns introduced this year, I would look to limit them to half a page each, or fortnightly for example. This is simply because I consider it a little unfair for a select number of students to have an entire page of a 32-page publication every week, and this would also take the pressure off the columnists themselves.

I am very proud of The Mancunion and consequently want to encourage even more students to be writing for it who currently aren’t for whatever reason. To make this happen I envisage raising awareness through other societies; I am a member of the English Literature Society and intend to raise the paper’s profile further through this and other similar societies. I believe this would be more possible now with the Editor job being given to a current student as opposed to a sabbatical position for a graduate.

Another reason some students aren’t writing for the paper is perhaps because of the section meetings; it can be daunting to turn up to a meeting when you don’t know who you’re meant to be meeting. I would propose to move them all to the same place (1st floor of the Students’ Union, right next to where the section editors work) with an obvious sign or banner so students know where to go if they don’t know the section editor personally.


What has been your involvement with the publication?


I wrote my first article for The Mancunion a few weeks into my first semester at university in the News Section, and continued to write for News as well as Media & Tech and Food & Drink in my first year.

I have continued to write for Food & Drink in my second year.

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For those of you that cannot attend you are more than welcome to send us your vote by email. Send your votes to [email protected].

This election will be using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) voting system, meaning you can order candidates in order of preference. Place the number 1 next to your preferred candidate, place a number 2 next to your second preference and 3 for your least preferred. You are not obliged to put down three preferences, you can only put one or two down if you want.

There will be three options on the ballot this year and they will be:

Richard Crook

James Watts

Re-Open nominations


So, if you cannot attend the election in person send you votes to [email protected] You will have until the 21st March to send your absentee votes in.

I hope you enjoy being part of the process to decide who will the editor next term.

Best Regards,


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Nick Renaud-Komiya

Former Editor-in-Chief of The Mancunion (2011-2012). Graduated in July 2011 with a BA in History & Social Sciences.
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