Emer Moreau is a third year English and psychology student, and is currently the Deputy Editor of the University Times. She previously served as News Editor and Assistant Editor before taking up the position of Deputy Editor in December 2020.
Speaking to Trinity News, she emphasises her qualification for the role of Editor as lying in her experience in the University Times. She has written with the paper since her first year in Trinity, and feels a strong connection to the publication: “I’m so passionate about the paper, I am so eager and willing to make the paper the best it can be.” As News Editor, her first position in the paper, she says she learned organisational skills from “having to balance that job with my studies and a part time job.” She was proud of her work at the start of the pandemic as news editor, where she saw her job as disseminating as much information to students as possible: “I think I did a really good job of just keeping on top of every News story that was going on.”
Moreau mentions that when she was appointed Assistant Editor she originally planned to run for Deputy Editor this year, however once made Deputy Editor she decided to enter the race to be Editor. The University Times has been criticised in the past for the frequency with which Deputy Editors go on to become Editor, and it is rarely a contested race. It was first contested by another University Times insider only last year, but the position went to the then-Deputy Editor, Cormac Watson. When asked why she did not originally plan to run, and why other staff don’t run, Moreau says that: “In the time I’ve been Deputy I’ve learned so much that I didn’t know as an assistant.” This she says is credited to the amount of close work done with the Editor, and she adds that other staff may not run due to not having that technical knowledge of the publication’s “advertising, the website” and journalistic knowledge “about building sources, maintaining sources”. But Moreau thinks that “We need students with different levels of engagement in UT. I think it’s healthy and it’s good to have people who are only peripherally involved, only write a couple of pieces or maybe only come to one or two meetings a week.”
She says she doesn’t know a lot about her opponent in the race, Peter Caddle, but thinks “it is healthy to have a contested race. I think I’ll end up running a better campaign because of it and if I win, I’ll be a better Editor because of it.” Moreau stated: “There is quite a marked difference between UT and the Burkean.” She notes that “UT is a newspaper and we have a very stringent set of editorial and ethics policies… and I don’t see a lot of that from the Burkean”.
A key part of Moreau’s manifesto is broadening engagement with the University Times, and combating the image of the publication as being composed of insiders. Moreau stresses that she always found it very welcoming as a newcomer in first year, but that she does “hear people’s concerns about UT from an outsiders’ perspective” and that she wants to “have more social events not just with staff” to encourage students to become involved. She especially wants to reach out to students from courses with higher contact hours, such as STEM courses.
Moreau also wants to get students who are underrepresented in the paper to become involved and improve the diversity of the staff to reflect the changing student body. She is planning on setting up a Diversity and Inclusion committee and discusses the importance of University Times’ role as “Trinity’s school of journalism” and stresses that: “journalism in Ireland generally is overwhelmingly white and I think as contributing to the next generation of journalists we have a responsibility to make sure that they’re as diverse as possible, we need to make those changes from the ground up.” She also wants to create the role of an Ethnic Minorities Correspondent “to give voice to those people, give them opportunities to write themselves” because, as Joseph Okoh told her ““No-one can tell my story better than me.”” She envisions the Ethnic Minorities correspondent role as being not only a way of sharing stories affecting ethnic minorities but as a route for members of underrepresented communities to become involved in the paper: “Our current editorial staff is predominantly white” and she feels that “having that specific position for them to make it easier for them to get involved”. “It’s just harder for people of colour to get involved in journalism”, she adds.
She also discusses the issue of gender balance in University Times: “Three out of eleven Editors have been female, obviously that’s not great but I’d like to be the next one.” She continues: “When I was in first year Eleanor O’Mahoney was editor so I realised, even unconsciously, that a woman could have the top job. But at the moment I think it’s really difficult for women to get involved because there are no women there.” A key interest of hers is increasing the amount of women who write for the sports section. She acknowledges that University Times has made an effort to do a “fifty-fifty” coverage of male and female sports teams but that in the sports section “we definitely don’t have enough female reporters.”
She envisions her Editorial position as needing to “hold College to account” but says it will be a balanced take as the paper will need to “understand where [College is] coming from”. “Commercialisation is an ugly word in Trinity, and of course commercialisation can’t come at the exp ense of students … but I suppose you do need to balance that with the fact the higher education sector has been crying out for funding for years.” She continues: “You do need to consider all angles when holding College to account.”
Her plans for the paper also include cutting the print edition from every three weeks to every month in order to “strike a balance between the print issue and being an online-first paper”. She also wants to include an Irish-language publication going forward. “I am an Irish speaker, it is very important to me”, she says. She wants it to be a “place where Gaelgoirí can write about anything, not just to do with higher education.” She says there would be a place for language learners as she sees “such a willingness to learn the language and get involved with the language” in Trinity. However she notes that “there is a conversation happening at the moment in Irish-language spheres online. Not every Irish-language resource has to be for beginners. We have to have content for fluent speakers.”
Ultimately she sees the role of University Times as “holding power to account [by] calling College out when it makes decisions that screw over students”. If elected she plans on fully dedicating herself to the role: “It’s a year, you just throw yourself at it for a year.” She also says she feels a personal connection to the publication: “I know it’s a paid job but I do see it partially as giving back to everyone who has helped me along the way since I was in first year.”