THE 2019 Limerick Voice team is preparing to launch its annual newspaper which will be available with all copies of tomorrow’s Limerick Leader.
Limerick Voice is a local publication ran by final year and Masters students at the University of Limerick who are studying journalism.
After a successful three months of running LimerickVoice.com, the team of 46 reporters has now created a 48-page physical newspaper.
Katie McAteer spoke to some members of the Limerick Voice editorial team ahead of the official launch of the 2019 newspaper which takes place tomorrow, December 5.
The main aim of this year’s paper is to inform, engage and inspire the people of Limerick – a mission formed by the Limerick Voice 2019’s Editor, Nicole Glennon.
Nicole, who has always gravitated towards leading groups, put herself forward for the role as she felt like she would be at ease with being an editor. After months of keeping on top of what the section editors were doing and making sure her team of reporters from all over the country were using each of their individual talents and interests to create strong stories, she explained that it is the “greatest feeling ever sending the paper to print”.
“I’m excited to see if people have been informed, are engaged and feel inspired to make the changes we need to see in Limerick when it is released on Thursday”, said the Editor, who cannot wait to show everyone what the team has produced.
The production of the paper has ran alongside the Limerick Voice website. Digital Editor, Niamh Delmer said: “In just 70 days, the Limerick Voice team, made of full-time students, produced 140 articles, accumulating over 70,000 views! We had breaking news stories, insightful features, exciting sport reports, interesting business news and so much more. I am so proud of what the whole team has achieved.”
The role taught her so much in terms of her skills as a journalist and a leader, and while Niamh admitted the role required a lot of work, she found that it’s exactly what she loves doing and is sad to see it coming to an end.
“Being the Digital Editor has been an absolute whirlwind. It’s been exciting, busy, interesting and an excellent learning experience and it’s something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my career”, she explained.
For the first time ever, Limerick Voice 2019 also created a weekly podcast, produced and presented by Mairéad Cleary. With previous experience of podcast producing, Mairéad took on the role and “had a ball as podcast editor”.
Mairéad explained that it was exciting to be “in a position that never existed in the Voice team before, it gave me the chance to be really creative with it.
The Limerick Voice 2019 podcast covered everything and anything in Limerick from events such as the Limerick Against Pollution protest and the Save Lyric FM demonstrations, as well as more alternative stories including the Limerick lady raising her child vegan and the Limerick group who sell poppies in November.
“Creatively it was really fun bouncing ideas off the team and we had fun coming up with really colourful packages. It was time consuming, but it was work I enjoyed doing,” Mairéad said.
With 13 great podcasts still available on Spotify, Mairéad is proud of the overall result: “I think we’ve pulled it off, and while there was a little bit of trial and error that comes with any new project, the overall result is something I’m really proud of”.
The sports section of the paper also had its own version of the podcast, discussing weekly matches and the latest news in the world of sport. Eoghan Maloney, sports editor, has been taking care of this section which is filled with everything from rugby matches, to GAA, to horse racing, which he described as “challenging but a very good experience”.
Many new responsibilities came with the job, responsibilities that even Eoghan himself hadn’t been aware of until he started the role. “It involved a lot of work that most people don’t see. The little things like helping people who may not be the most comfortable with interviews and guiding them to maximise a story’s value”, he explained.
“It was good fun though as I was lucky to have a very good deputy, Anthony Geoghegan, and a team with wide-ranging interests and talents. I learned a hell of a lot in just 10 weeks.”
One huge section of this year’s paper is dedicated to features – looking at the interesting people living in Limerick. Ensuring there is something for everyone in the paper was features editor, Sarah Cullen, who is excited for the physical paper to come out as she feels that the team have “pushed the boat out in terms of interesting stories that haven’t been told before”.
“Everybody has a story to tell and this is true tenfold for the people of Limerick. The experience has been challenging in some ways, but the rewarding feeling of reading something and knowing there’s heart and soul behind it makes it all worth it,” Sarah said in anticipation of tomorrow’s launch.
Social media manager for this year’s Limerick Voice, Kyle Lehane, learned a lot from his role over the past few months, however, he admits that he did underestimate the amount of work the role would involve. From Instagram stories to endless tweets, and ensuring every article got promoted via social media channels, Kyle did it all.
“It’s been such a great experience and working with my friends made it even better. The most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is that communication is key. With 46 contributors this year some things could get lost among all the emails and texts, but it’s really taught me how to work well in such a busy environment”, he explained.
Kyle finished by saying: “I can’t wait to show off what I’ve learned from this experience going forward”, something that all the editors, contributors and production team can take away from the last few months of creating the Limerick Voice 2019.
The Limerick Voice 2019 newspaper will be available with all copies of the Limerick Leader tomorrow, December 5.