As part of The Yorker’s Alumni & Public Relations work, our current officer, Violet Daniels, interviewed Stephen Thorne, former Film Sports Editor at The Yorker.
What was your experience at the University? Do you have any memorable moments?
The history course was great. I can remember some of Simon Ditchfield’s lectures blowing my mind because they were so fascinating. I loved the campus atmosphere and going on bar crawls between the different colleges. Among other memories, I can now recognise every variety of geese or duck poo. There was one time when a horse ran amok on campus. It trotted past me as I got to Vanbrugh, then a few seconds later it was followed by a group of frantic security guys.
What did you do aside from your degree and contributing towards The Yorker?
I was in the Movie Society for two years and loved every minute. We used to watch classic films in a Vanbrugh and went to the pub afterwards. The head of the Movie Society also happened to be The Yorker’s film editor so it was through him that I was introduced to both. I also helped with a few of YSTV’s programmes. They let me write and present an episode of Past to Present about the siege of York in the Civil War.
What was your role in The Yorker and what benefits do you think it had to your University experience?
The Yorker was by far the best thing I got involved with at university. I started off as an ordinary writer with the Arts section, then became film editor, and finally took over as sports editor. I knew that I was never going to become a journalist, so the main benefit of being a member was meeting new people and having fun expressing myself through writing about ‘evil potatoes’ or Obi Wan Kenobi.
What was your experience of student media at York in general? Did you have experience with other outlets?
In my first year I joined Nouse but was not particularly bothered about being in print. I only wanted to write niche film pieces, like a tribute to Diary of a Wimpy Kid, that only a handful of people would read. Funnily enough, only a couple of my articles were published and by my second year I found out about The Yorker. It seemed more open than Nouse and less career orientated. The financial independence of The Yorker is important and sets it apart from other campus media. I’m always amazed when it manages to survive another year but its great that it does.
What happened after your left University?
After graduating I went straight into a PGCE course (teacher training) at Bristol University. Then I worked as a history teacher in London for three years. Last year I got fed up of living in the big city and decided to come back to my roots in Newcastle and do a Masters in European History.
What advice would you give people for considering getting involved with The Yorker?
Go for it! It is a fun and friendly society and, as my old articles will prove, you don’t need to be able to write like Ernest Hemingway to get involved. Enthusiasm is the best qualification you can have.
What are your future plans?
In August my Masters will finish and I will be moving to Italy. I have a job teaching history in an international school out there. Beyond that there are no other plans.
If you are an alumni and want to be featured please contact Violet (Alumni & PR Officer at: firstname.lastname@example.org)