Reaching Across the Aisle: Interviewing the Editors of the University Observer
(Note: Elements of this interview are satirical)
In a dimly lit College Tribune office on a wet Friday afternoon, history was made. Members of UCD’s two illustrious newspapers sat down together as Observer editors Gavin Tracey and Aoife Mawn spoke with Hugh Dooley and Conor Capplis, mostly speaking about why the Tribune is better than the Observer (or something like that!).
HD: Hugh Dooley
CC: Conor Capplis
AM: Aoife Mawn
GT: Gavin Tracey
Interviewer (HD): Many people think that there’s some sort of competition between the Tribune and Observer, is that true?
Aoife Mawn: It’s friendly competition
Gavin Tracey: I think by the nature of there being two newspapers on campus there is a bit of healthy competition, but as for there being any animosity or anything? I’ve never experienced it!
Int (HD): What made you get involved in student journalism and why did you pick the Observer over the Tribune?
GT: I signed up to write in first year in the Fresher’s tent, so it could’ve just been a visibility thing, I just happened to see the Observer first. By the nature of it, once you’re writing for the Observer you tend to stick with it.
AM: This is only my second proper year at the paper, I only became a section editor last year. I got into it because I wanted to build up a bit of a portfolio for when I left college and then I got indoctrinated into the Observer. I think I picked the Observer because I saw a Facebook article from one of the Music Editors.
Int (CC): What’s your favourite day of the week?
AM: I used to say Wednesday when I was in school but now? I think it’s probably a Monday or Tuesday because they’re always the quieter days of the week!
GT: Yeah, Monday or Tuesday because they’re the days we can sit back and relax but by the end of the week things tend to get quite hectic.
Int (HD): What’s the atmosphere like at the end of the week just before publishing?
AM: No arguments yet!
GT: It’s just that our office, it’s not this small [Gestures at the vast expanse of the Tribune office], but it’s not huge and it gets VERY warm in there! It’s usually just us sitting there editing 52 pages of content every three weeks and when you get into the early hours of the morning you start to get delusional!
Int (HD): What are the worst excuses you’ve heard from journalists not giving up articles on time, and how many of them were from you guys?!
GT: A sizeable chunk to be sure!
AM: I used to say that my laptop charger was broken every three weeks last year….It was broken once, but I noticed it was a good excuse so I just kept using it! One girl, for an album review, told me that it hadn’t come out yet, and I was like “I was listening to it on the bus this morning!”
Int (CC): Actually Aoife I’ve been meaning to ask you. If Andrew Deeks had a spirit animal, like in the Golden Compass, what would it be?
GT: A rat!
AM: A cat because they’re selfish and vain.
Int (CC): Secondly Aoife, in a recent comment to the Turbine you said: “The University Observer is a fad, nothing but lies, slander and silly mockery, I wish I worked for the Tribune.” What did you mean by this?
AM: Was I in the clubhouse? And was it past like eight o’clock at night? If so, that would explain the comment!
Int (CC): Another quote. From you this time Gavin: “Deeks has me in his pocket, I send everything to him before publishing.” What do you mean by that?
GT: Well, I live underneath his stairs like a gremlin, he throws me scraps from his regular barbeques if I write positive articles.
Int (HD): Given the embarrassing nature of these comments what do you intend to do once you get impeached from your positions?
AM: I intend to get engaged in the next year or two and hate this college for the rest of my life.
And with that the Observer and the Tribune drifted apart again, into the sunset, like the end of an old western. However, rumour has it that there might be another meeting of these extraordinarily sub-par minds again in the near future… stay tuned!
Hugh Dooley – Reporter