Martlet staff writers Emily Fagan, left, and Angel Manguerra flank co- editor-in-chief Cormac O’Brien. Photo contributed

Martlet gala on March 23 to celebrate past, raise money for future

Newspaper turns 70, needs support for digital upgrade

There’s something special about the Martlet’s newsroom, and it’s certainly not the equipment.

The computers are from 2008 and the printer chugs out a page at a time, often to a chorus of relieved writers huddled around shared desks.

Despite its digital deficit, the publication—and its writers—press on, and has done so since its first issue in 1948.

For its 70th anniversary, the Martlet is hosting a gala on March 23., to celebrate its past and raise money for its future, with support from the Victoria Arts Council.

“Those are the three main areas: new computer, new printer, and a new website,” says co- editor-in-chief Cormac O’Brien. “[We’re] making sure that we are staying as competitive as possible in an increasingly digital media landscape,”

The independent newspaper, based out of the University of Victoria, is the social and academic lifeblood for many.

“I know there’s a quote from Jim Bigsby, an old Martleteer, who said that he graduated from UVic with a degree in the Martlet with a minor in Economics,” says O’Brien.

The gala is an opportunity for past and current students to connect, and celebrate journalism where many accomplished writers cut their teeth.

Mark Hume (National Correspondent for the Globe and Mail), Mary Vallis (Toronto Star, the National Post), J.B. MacKinnon (New Yorker contributor) and W.P. Kinsella (author) are former Martleteers.

Support will ensure the continued success of the newspaper, and the preservation of an important part of Victoria history.

“This affects more than just the people who have worked there,” says O’Brien. “Students, UVic alumni, community members from Victoria, or anyone who appreciates campus news and student media, are all more than welcome to come out.”

A GoFundMe page will be launched next week for this cause. Advance tickets are $10 and available online or at The Martlet office. UVic students will receive a drink coupon with their ticket. Admission is $12 at the door of the Temple Building (525 Fort St.) on March 23 at 6 p.m.

anna.james@vicnews.com

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