Coffees, emails and never-ending hope: bringing Verve Magazine online

Nikos Papanikolaou, interim chief editor of London Met’s student magazine Verve, discusses how the team have adapted in the face of an extraordinary year.

Date: 07 October 2020

This year has been life-changing. Not only for me, for everyone. It has been a year we reevaluate things we previously considered as given. Our wellbeing, seeing our friends and families every day, and for international students like me, flying home any time we wanted. This year has been challenging, and it still is.

I’m now entering my final year as a journalism student, and one of the things I remember since my first year was the stands that used to have the Verve Magazine copies in it. You could see them everywhere around the campuses. You could see students reading them while eating, holding them on their way out, or sometimes using them to cover themselves from the rain. Verve Magazine has been a part of my university life since my first day. However, as I said, this year is not like any other year.

As the university switched to online classes, Verve couldn’t do any different. It is the first year that the magazine will be only online. It wasn’t an easy transition. I would say that it was one of the most challenging things I ever did. We had to build a website from scratch, write new articles, find images for them, and get a pretty result in overall. Oh, I forgot! We had to do this in four days. I wouldn’t be here, writing this piece you’re reading, without my two photo editors, Agatha Kempf and Shaelyn Stout, Verve’s former chief editor, Aaron Patel, and of course, Wendy Sloane,  the Course Leader for Journalism BA (Hons).

All of us, we had to work for tens of hours every day to make it happen. We’re proud to have some wonderful articles from our contributors; articles about your university life, about diversity, about social justice, about all these values that make London Metropolitan University one of the most human universities out there. I think this article should not be about me; this article should be about the freshers who are starting their university life in the COVID era. It also needs to be about the people who helped me when I asked them to do it, and last but not least, about the magazine which is the diverse voice of all the students in our university. A beautiful, colourful, proud voice that sounds louder than ever before.

This voice will soon be heard on our campuses. Maybe I won’t be there to hear it, but I’m sure about it. The university and your life in it are way stronger than a pandemic. You will soon be back to your classes, hugging your friends and laughing. Until then, wear your masks, keep the safety distance, wash your hands and keep reading the Verve online.

Nikos Papanikolaou