“And it’s hard to say just how some things never change — and it’s hard to find any strength to draw the line.”
To you, if you’re reading this, I want to thank you for your support. I want to thank you for making The Victorian Press what it is today. None of this could have been accomplished without you.
The Victorian Press has come a long way. From a small club which just wrote about VJC and published on a website, we are now a news source to follow, a treasure trove of quality writing and a platform on which Victorians can make themselves heard. Much of this transformation came from the founding batch themselves; we, the Second Victorian Press, have but added on to their efforts. And I hope that months from now, years from now, we will continue to be a CCA its members are proud of, that every student in the school knows and looks up to.
For me, when I first joined The Victorian Press, it was not even my first CCA. Part of its allure to me was that I felt it suited my commitments, as one of the Clubs & Societies. I could not join sports or performing arts. Another part of its allure was that it was a small CCA (a wing, to be precise) which had just been founded. So it would be easy to lead, and even the founding batch did tell us that — we get to set the direction for the CCA, and make it something more.
And I hope that’s something we have done.
The main driver for The Victorian Press’ success may has been all of you, but I too hope I have done my part well. There were times when I wondered if it was worth it. What if I was the only one who would read articles comprised mainly of interviews with performers, published hours (instead of days) after the event? What if I was the only one who felt that a post on how to take a bus to the hostel, published an hour after the LTA news broke, was even useful? What if I was the only one who noticed the sunflowers?
But through it all, you appreciated it. Every like, every view, to us has been a show of support. Even though the work may not have felt particularly relevant, or useful, The Victorian Press has constantly been appreciated for it. And doing impromptu, unassigned articles is something I, and the rest of The Victorian Press, will miss.
One of my proudest moments, as Chief Editor, was waking up to see that the HOD Ms Tong had emailed the entire school with instructions on how to access the timetable… by linking to the article which I had compiled and rushed out in one morning, after just hearing that the timetables were out.
It marked a time when I first felt “VPress is finally legit now”. We had, in effect, reported on breaking news and been the first line of communication; people actually came to us first for information. The only time something similar had happened prior to this was when a waterspout formed over the waters near Siglap, and we wrote about it with help and pictures from my hostel-dwelling friends, eventually beating The Straits Times by all of five minutes. Triumph for the Fourth Estate.
But don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been the best editor either, and I’m not proud of everything I’ve done. There have been times when the decisions I made were not the best, such as when we focused too much on J1s and left some J2s feeling alienated. The time when I thought it would be a good idea to publish an April Fools’ joke, only later realising it would appear to compromise journalistic integrity and encourage fake news. Or the time I published a well-written analysis of a game, overlooking the fact that it would leave all our strategies or tactics open to review.
As Chief Editor, I’ve had to take responsibility for what The Victorian Press writes about. It is a responsibility I have been glad to take on, a cross I’m glad to bear. But credit — that should hardly go to me.
Much of the best work on The Victorian Press — be it the much-lauded mug spots article, or the long piece celebrating Victoria’s win at the EV competition — I had no hand in. These articles, and many others, equally deserving, were the work of many very brilliant writers whose names appear at the bottom of their pieces. Every writer in The Victorian Press ought to be proud of their writing. And it has been nothing but an honour to work with these talented individuals, and edit for them. They may have turned articles in to me, but it feels like I’m the one working for them.
And as far as leadership has gone, my fellow exco members have definitely led the CCA through much more than I ever could.
Over the past year, The Victorian Press has received support from all round. It may have been slow in coming, and it may have taken some time to roll in, but now I feel I can safely agree with what Ms Ek said during 2016’s Farewell Assembly, that The Victorian Press is “very much a part of VJC”.
And this is all due to your support. The students, who read, share and critique our articles, and ‘follow’ and ‘like’ our social media posts. The teachers, who lent a hand in publicising through the school’s social media channels and emails. The non-teaching staff, who help us with admin matters and make our research easier. The alumni, who stay in touch with VJ by reading our articles on Facebook and in turn spreading our message. In short, the Victorians.
Each and every one of you, simply by reading an article on this site, is supporting who we are. You make us feel relevant, feel useful, feel fulfilled.
I couldn’t have asked for a better school community to be in service of. I couldn’t ask for a better family to serve than the Victorian family.
I may never know how good an editor I’ve been, how good an exco we’ve been, how good an institution we’ve been. But what I know is that throughout the past year, we have tried our very best to provide quality journalism. The rest is for history to judge.
It is the end of a journey. One which began with indifference, then slowly initiative, through trepidation and triumph, from uncertainty to unity, ultimately reaching its endpoint here — and a better endpoint I could not have asked for.
It has been difficult, it has been a struggle, it has been emotional, but it was all worth it. The Victorian Press is now more recognised than it has ever been. One year ago, nobody knew who we were. Now, we get requests from others to publicise (thanks SC and MF adhoc, among others!) and it makes me feel really proud that people remember us; I hope this continues for years to come.
There are others who have contributed a lot more to The Victorian Press than I have, but I feel proud of this CCA all the same, and I can only say it has been an honour to serve.
To our teachers in charge, Mr Teo and Mr Kan, thank you for supporting us on this journey and offering your invaluable guidance without fail. We may not have made things easy for you but you’ve never ceased to help us out.
To the founders, the members of the 15 batch, here’s to you — for creating something that everyone in Victoria can, in some way, be proud of. Without your efforts and hard work, labouring in the name of VPress, putting in hours and hours for the sake of this CCA, nothing I’m writing about today would exist.
To my exco mates, Victoria and Chloe, as well as Venny and Faith from the creative side, I can only say that the past year has been great, leading alongside you, and thank you for helping me to develop on my journey to becoming a leader. I was definitely not easy to work with, so thank you for working with me.
To all the writers of The Victorian Press, thank you for your service. Without your commitment and your writing there’d be nothing for me to edit, and none of the articles you see today. Your writing does not fail to impress; give yourselves a pat on the back, for a job well done.
To the junior exco, Davene, Niyanta and James; VPress is yours now. Take pride in it. Take good care of it, do what you feel is right with it, lead it well, and bring it to greater heights. Ensure that we are remembered; ensure that we are respected. May your passion for the CCA burn without cease. The future of the CCA now rests upon you, as it rested upon us.
To the teachers of VJC, thank you for agreeing to our nosy interviews, helping us out with information we need, and offering us valuable feedback to help us improve.
To the school leaders, thank you for being so supportive of our endeavours. Your support has been critical to sustaining our CCA and helping us to realise our potential.
To all my fellow Victorians who have read The Victorian Press, and shared our articles, and let me know their feelings about what we’re doing (be they positive or negative), thank you for your support.
And finally to my cherished few dear friends, the ones I always thank and never appreciate. Thank you for coming on board this journey with me, caring for VPress when others did not. Thank you for being there, through thick and thin, for reading VPress at the times when nobody else did. Thank you for your invaluable advice, for entertaining me when no one would, for supporting VPress from the background even despite not finding it that relevant personally. Thank you for recognising that VPress is more than a CCA to me; it is an institution, a way of life, and something closely tied to my identity. And above all, thank you for always reminding me to take pride in this, during those times I felt I had nothing to be proud of.
And now it’s over for me. I step down in wistful reluctance, but with no regrets. No regrets at all.
Ryan Ch’ng, 16S47
19 May 2017
Retiring Chief Editor