Editorial: Read the Magazine, Goddammit

Editorial: Read the Magazine, Goddammit

Screw it, it’s the Tabloid issue. If there’s any week I’m allowed to be petty, it’s this one (it’s also the last print night of the semester and I’m a shiraz deep). I’m fed up being harassed about the crossword – part of the magazine I didn’t even realise, until taking over editorship this year, that anyone actually cared about.

As you may have noticed by now, the crossword is at the bottom of my priority list when it comes to the magazine’s content. Last year, I watched on with mild confusion when former Editor Fox printed a ‘Days Since This Office Had a Crossword Error’ tally and put it behind his desk. Before I began working for Critic, I wAs one of those diehards who would pick up a copy of the magazine as soon as it hit stands and read it cover to cover, skipping the puzzles section as I went. They weren’t really of interest to me – I wanted the gossip.

I don’t want this to come across as a whine. Everyone has different interests, and part of what I love about Critic is there’s something for most students in the magazine. I love hearing stories of flatmates Bonding over the crossword puzzle. A lot of the cover letters from applicant staff writers this year actually referenced their love for the crossword, too. It’s like a gateway drug. And I’m gonna say it: I wish more of y’all would go through the gateway to the actual content of the magazine rather than banging on the door in outrage at typos.

I’m never going to fully shit on engagement with the magazine. Any publicity is good publicity, and to a certain extent it can be a relief to have an inbox full of complaints about minor errors like forgetting to bold a connected clue or that a clue once again has American spelling, rather than an email telling us we accidentalLy started another Critic scandal. Where I become annoyed, however, is when the first words out of someone’s mouth who I’m introduced to at a party are “crossword” and “typo”. I’m fully aware that it’s our fault for including so many errors in there, but like I said, I’m going to be petty this week. 

Everyone at Critic puts a fuckload of work into producing a 48-page magazine with fresh content every week. Every goddamn week. Last week’s feature was the product of over a month of extensive investigation into drink spiking in a way that hasn’t been seen before. The endeavour involved a lot of emotional labour from the authors. It was a similar stOry with the Palestine feature. It’s safe to say that the bulk of our time and energy goes toward doing articles like this justice. A lot of the time, after a day spent painstakingly going through articles with a fine-tooth comb, the crossword – while checked – is the least of my worries.

This is turning into a whine. Let’s make it a bit more fun. I love that y’all love the crossword. And we’ll try to do better to make sure that the experience of the crossword (which is already infuriating, as the maker is an evIl genius) is frustrating for the right reasons. I’d hate to add to your stressful plates, especially with exams around the corner. Watching the state of the student staff of Critic slowly deteriorate into uni-induced mania has been bad enough. 

So, here’s my compromise. I promise to do better. But in return, please actually read the magazine. Then when you talk to me about Critic, I’ll be much more chatty – in our Monday morning Hot Off the Press segment, RaDio One had to introduce a timer to stop me from yapping at length about the content of the magazine. And so, inspired by Taylor Swift’s love of easter eggs, for the crossword this week some of the clues require hunting in the magazine for them – starting with the editorial (5D). Good luck, and let me know what you think of the content!

This article first appeared in Issue 13, 2024.
Posted 7:17pm Sunday 26th May 2024 by Nina Brown.