Candidate interview: Matthew Power

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Matthew Power
Lonsdale

Champions a more accountable student media
Give student journalists more ownership over SCAN
Look at enhancing web presence of all medias

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Holding numerous positions within LUSU and student media has given Matt Power a good deal of experience. He has served as Webmaster and later President for Lonsdale JCR, Chair of the Student Media Board (a Cross Campus Officer role) and as SCAN Web Editor.

His most specific student media experience comes from his time chairing the Student Media Board, through which he has initiated a highly successful Making it in the Media Day. Power sees the future potential of the Board in encouraging collaboration between SCAN, Bailrigg FM and LUTube.tv.

His role as SCAN Web Editor has given Power a good working knowledge of how the newspaper works. As news media becomes increasingly digital, Power’s experience working on the website gives him a strong understanding of this issue.

“I’ve really gained knowledge of how people interact with the website and how people want to receive news,” he says. Power has also previously written for SCAN Comment and, more recently, SCAN News.

His biggest weakness, he admits, lies in the design aspect of the remit. “I haven’t had as much experience, there’s no denying that,” he says. “I think that design of SCAN currently is strong and I’d be looking to carry on that work and I’d have to gain experience in that by shadowing the Vice President (Media and Communications) if I was elected.”

Power would like to see more delegation of the SCAN’s design to Section Editors. “I think they could take a real first-hand approach to laying up the paper themselves. I would obviously have an overall editorial aspect but I think it’s important that they gain that experience.”

He would also like to see increased unity between SCAN, Bailrigg and LUTube, and to increase recognition and accountability of the latter two. Bailrigg and LUTube currently elect their heads internally, but Power would like these roles to become cross campus elected positions.

“I think [this would] give them the acknowledgement that they haven’t had previously. By making them a cross campus elected it would give them the recognition that they are part of the Union. They do receive Union funding and they should be accountable to the students.”

Power has a record of seeing his election pledges and ideas come to pass. His work on the Making it in the Media Day won him LUSU’s Officer Initiative of the Year award, and saw 50 students benefit from the experience and advice of professional journalists. “I was really pleased to see that through from the hust right through to the day.”

Perhaps the biggest issue the next Editor will have to address will be SCAN’s readership, which has suffered as digital media becomes more popular. Power wants to evaluate readership and the way student media is organised.

“I’m not going to say that within the next year SCAN won’t be printed in paper format, I think that would be stupid. “[However], we spend £15 000 a year printing SCAN; could that money be spent on the resources for the student media portal that I envisage we’ll have?”

Power sees this media portal as a prospect for the next “five to six years”. It would, he suggests, be a way of uniting student media.

“We’d have people going onto a website and seeing videos uploaded from LUTube, listening to podcasts and reading news coming in all the time,” he argues. “I think we should have a student media which is accountable to the students and working together”.

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