SRC 2012 interviews VPMC: Douglas Aithie

Published

With a strong background in student media, currently as GUST’s head of tech, Aithie has perhaps the strongest manifesto of all the candidates in this category showing an understanding of all the vagueries of the position.

Q&A

Guardian: Whats been your favourite bit of content produced by one of the four SRC supported media bodies this year?

Aithie: While It Gets Better was a definite highlight the driving force behind that was the wonder Drew McCusker, we helped him with technical things and editing but he was the reason it happened, so GUST cannot take full credit for it.
My favourite content this year has to be Savifest – a seven hour rock concert in the Barrowlands ballroom for Savi, a great charity that works with victims of sexual abuse. There were members old and new helping out, students who were directing pros, first years who had never held a camera before … everything worked, the entire broadcast was perfect.
Although I only had two weeks to plan the event (the original broadcast team dropped out) with the help of GUST we pulled it off with flying colours. Two years ago GUST couldn’t have ever done anything like this – I spent two years turning the technical side around, bodging cameras together and training up a tech team. On a purely personal level it was a massive achievement but I felt so proud of everyone involved.
It has led on to good things to – we gained a platform that has attracted investors, we are currently planning to film the upcoming local council elections. Good times.

Guardian: You talk about solving the community problem, how can this be done without disrupting the contributor model of some of the media groups, notably Subcity?
Aithie: I respect that there are different models involved in student media but the model that Subcity uses is very efficient. By focusing not just on campus but also in the local community there are more opportunities to widen the scope of programming, creating new audiences and perhaps more importantly increasing the likelihood of advertising revenue.
My thought is this: the SRC will argue that student media is a waste of money and resources. If it can be shown that student media does have the capacity to support itself with the financial limitations placed upon it then that will be a point in our favour.
Obviously nothing will be changed if the relevant student media heads thought this would be a step far but it came up at last year’s hustings and I didn’t feel it was addressed properly, so we should spend some time talking about it. I would never force it upon the media. Having a group conversation about the upcoming review of media is necessary – the ‘community problem’ will need to be talked about.

Insider Odds

5/1
A long shot in a category with such a strong front runner, but a nonetheless knowledgeable candidate with a lot of student media tech experience.