Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Alumni Fund (previously known as the Student Experience fund and the Annual Fund) has been able to award a one-off grant of £50,000, as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations. The grant has been used to undertake the renovation of the area of Union House being used by UEA’s media societies – Concrete, Livewire 1350 and UEA:TV.
With almost 500 students now part of the UEA Media Collective, the new open-plan office space has allowed for a better working relationship between the societies, whilst updated technology means that members are now working with industry-standard software.
Peter Sheehan, Concrete Deputy Editor, tells us more about what your support means to the UEA Media Collective:
“Investment from the University’s Annual Fund has allowed us to completely overhaul student media at UEA this year – and, after years of underfunding, it was badly needed.
Concrete, Livewire 1350 and UEA:TV were crammed into dusty old offices that were no longer fit for purpose. More frustratingly, our computers were on their last legs: they were painfully slow, half didn’t even turn on, and our software was increasingly out of date.
The £50,000 grant from the Annual Fund, alongside the redevelopment of Union House, has changed that. For the first time, all three media societies share an open-plan office: collaboration has never been easier, and we hope that in the years to come, it will increasingly become the norm.
Since September 2014, we have been working with brand new Apple computers, all equipped with industry-standard software for laying up a newspaper and managing an ever-expanding online presence, producing broadcast-quality audio files, and editing HD footage replete with all manner of bells and whistles. The state-of-the-art programs are designed to work together and have given us the long-desired opportunity to increase the quality of our output and bring UEA’s student media into the 21st Century.
Concrete, Livewire 1350 and UEA:TV are incredibly grateful to alumni and friends of the University – without your generosity a large part of what we now do would not be possible. As the UEA Media Collective prepares for its second year, and for moving into permanent accommodation in Union House, we wish to thank you for your donations – of whatever size – that have made this transformation possible, and we look forward to sharing more of our successes with you in future.”
The new renovations and technology were put to the test in March when Derby Day 2015 came to UEA. The biggest sporting event of the UEA calendar was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the difference that the new space and technology has made to the UEA Media Collective. The Concrete team produced 16 pages in 48 hours, leading up to and during the event, whilst Livewire 1350 and UEA:TV broadcast live updates from around the University. In previous years, coverage was delivered with each society working independently to one another. This year has seen a more comprehensive coverage thanks to the ease of collaboration, with a better output because of the vast improvements in technology.
Having proved what they can now do, the UEA Media Collective are now being approached increasingly more often to provide materials for societies, departments and organisations both within the University and also throughout the city.
The facilities also provide an excellent opportunity for our students to experience working across all three media disciplines. Before, when each society occupied a separate area of Union House, trying something new wasn’t readily accessible. Now, with the new facilities, members of UEA:TV are writing articles for Concrete and Livewire 1350 broadcasters are developing their skills behind the camera.
Thanks to your support, our students are discovering their aptitudes and developing skills whilst working on industry-standard technology. This gives them the best chance possible upon leaving University and means that our already award-winning societies continue to progress as a UEA Media Collective.