Until three weeks ago, many of this year’s Magazine MA cohort had never met face-to-face after months of remote working. Nicola Blackburn and Nick Harris reveal the realities of XCity production in a pandemic.
This year’s City Magazine MA students today said farewell to XCity and XCityPlus, having produced both under Covid restrictions.
Each year, the Magazine students manage XCity, the City Journalism alumni magazine distributed to over 4,000 former students, and XCityPlus, its online sister platform. However, for the first time, they have undertaken the bulk of work on both publications remotely.
Students spent the months up to May planning, commissioning, writing and editing both publications, before returning to campus in the last few weeks for production ‘thricenight’. During this three-week period the students designed XCity and uploaded daily content to XCityPlus.
They also worked on book(ish), a website and print magazine run by six Magazine students which covers a broad and accessible spectrum of culture and the arts.
Restrictions continue on campus, with the three publications separated into different working rooms, and masks and social distancing omnipresent. However, students were determined not to let the circumstances affect the content they produced.
Both print magazines were delivered on schedule, containing imaginative designs and perceptive writing throughout, while XCityPlus published a wealth and breadth of news, features and multimedia content – including regular podcasts.
Both XCity and book(ish) are now with the printers, and will be available in the next few weeks.