It is hard to believe that at this time two summers ago, The Wanderer Online was only in the process of being formed. University of Alberta students from fine arts, political science and several other disciplines would assemble on weekday evenings in order to develop the website, draft the first batch of articles, design logos and find young leaders interested in contributing to the digital magazine. At first, we envisioned becoming a printed newspaper; however, it was soon clear that with the media landscape changing so quickly, a daily digital online venture was a much better option.
Fast-forward nearly two years, and we have accomplished many of the goals originally set out. In this brief period of time, dozens of young Edmontonians have shared their thoughts on our platform, with over 1000 articles published in total. We’ve seen pieces on Edmonton’s municipal elections, on pop culture and probability, and on our city’s up-and-coming small businesses. And in addition to this, we’ve produced successful projects such as the Edmonton Top 100 Women in Business, the Top 100 Most Influential University of Alberta Undergraduates, Spotlight on Small Business, Edmonton Visionaries, Education Visionaries and “Who Needs Feminism?”, which have together raised public awareness of important issues.
Serving as one of The Wanderer’s Co-Founders and as Editor-in-Chief has been a supremely rewarding and unforgettable experience. On a personal level, it has shifted my life path, allowing me to meet some of Edmonton’s coolest people, while immersing myself in our city’s cultural community. As a member of the University of Alberta community, I was fortunate to meet many young leaders across sciences, business, arts and other disciplines whom I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered. At a university and city-wide level, I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished together, despite many setbacks along the way. Indeed, following a breakneck pace in year one, structural questions within the team led to a slowed publication pace (the churn of university students due to fourth year and graduation is never easy!), though we nevertheless achieved excellence through initiatives like the Top 100 Edmonton WiB.
In order for The Wanderer to progress, I’m excited to be passing on the Editor-in-Chief torch to Blue Knox, a Wanderer Managing Editor and Business Editor. Based on Blue’s previous experiences and her leadership across Edmonton, she is a great fit to help move the venture forward. Within coming weeks, we will open a call for Editors across all sections, such as Design, Culture, Politics, Business and so on. Stay tuned, as the call for applications will be posted on The Wanderer’s home page in the first week of June. In order for knowledge transfer to take place between previous and incoming Editors, a Board of Advisors will be formed in coming months. Suffice it to say, the transition period will bring in fresh talent required to sustain The Wanderer and achieve our potential as a digital media venture.
I would like to thank everyone, from contributors to dedicated readers, for your time over the last two years. Originally, The Wanderer set out to provide compelling long-form journalism at the University of Alberta, and we transformed into something much larger, serving the city as a whole. And at a time where journalism is needed more than ever, we’ve served as yet another voice for critical discussion on issues that influence many of our lives. Thank you, and I’m looking forward to seeing our venture evolve in years to come.
CC image courtesy of Mack Male on Flickr