Final editorial for NewsLabBU: Universities owe this level of support to their students

As the most challenging chapter of my university career came to an enUS 2012 electiond, I came to reflect on my final term. US 2012 from NewsLabBU was an incredible achievement; we got 16,000 hits on our website in a week, broadcast live TV and Radio for ten hours overnight, and officially called the result before CNN. Never one to give up the chance of having the last word, I put pen to paper for my final editorial asDeputy Editor of the project, because someone needed to speak up about why projects like this are so important.

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I firmly believe that a project like this encompasses every important aspiration a university could claim to have in the interest of its students: an environment of genuine learning, encouragement, and a place where young people might step out of their comfort zone only to find their stride with a diverse and brilliant group of like-minded people beside them.

We’re lucky to have had the support from BU to undertake a project like US 2012. It proves an investment and pride in its students which inspires potential to be fulfilled.

Journalists – and students in general – love burning the candles at both ends. It is completely unsustainable (but try telling us that). The fact that over 200 students worked all hours in the run up to the election says a lot about the buzz around this project.

This was the sort of engagement I imagine every educator hopes to see. It summed up my expectations of higher education. I had presumed international affairs out of my reach, so I grasped the opportunity to prove myself wrong when offered the role of Deputy Editor.

Oddly, one of my most memorable highlights happened away from the excitement of the studios. A small number of us – myself and editor-in-chief Oscar included – had tickets to the i paper’s birthday celebrations in London in October. Somewhere since NewsLab’s humble beginnings, we’d found the confidence to approach the editor with word of our efforts.

What Stefano Hatfield said has stayed with me: The first thing the i will ask any young journalist – should they get an interview in the first place – is what exactly they have done with their time at university. If they can’t prove journalistic commitment of this sort, they can forget it.

This project was the hardest and most rewarding thing I have done during my time at BU. I know it will continue to pay off.

I look forward to seeing the future of NewsLab. Young, driven and stubbornly passionate, there will be no reasoning with us now that we’ve seen what we can do.

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