Candidate for the position of Gryphon Editor

Image for Iona Tompkins

Iona Tompkins

Iona For Gryphon Editor - Inclusivity, Support, and Integrity.


As Gryphon Editor I pledge to…


1. Make room for student debate.

As editor, I would create spaces on the Gryphon’s radio shows and website for students to respectfully discuss and debate topical issues which might include:

  • How well is the government handling Covid-19?
  • Is the University doing enough to support the student body?
  • Has cancel culture gone too far, or are public figures finally being held accountable for their actions?

I would work to ensure that the issues discussed are of relevance and interest to the cross- spectrum of the student body, using feedback from each debate to continually improve the project.


2. Provide mentorship opportunities for students from Lower-Income backgrounds.

There’s no other way to put it: Journalism just isn’t diverse enough. 80% of editors are privately educated, as well as 51% of leading journalists.

As editor, I would create a mentorship scheme open to all students from lower- income backgrounds. I will make sure the Gryphon is diverse, inclusive, and representative of all of the student body. I would also support and expand this year’s highly successful People of Colour Mentoring scheme.

I would work with Access to Leeds ensure the scheme is run in an engaging and respectful manner, as I understand the extremely personal nature of these issues.


3. Journalistic Integrity - Empower writers to cover sensitive topics and issues through workshops run by members of marginalised groups themselves.

Open workshops for anyone involved with the Gryphon, covering skills such as:

  • How to write an effective FOI (Freedom of Information request) and hold the university accountable.
  • Engaging considerately with refugees.
  • How to respectfully interview sex workers.

These workshops would always be run by members of the marginalised groups themselves, to ensure the paper authentically represents their voices.


4. Welfare Training for every editor and associate.

The Gryphon isn’t just a newspaper: it’s a community of writers and contributors and every contributor deserves to have a structure of support to turn to if they need it.

There is currently no welfare training in any way, shape, or form for any of the paper’s editors or associates.

I want to change this and ensure that every committee member is provided at a minimum with Welfare training at the beginning of their tenure in the position.


5. Use the Gryphon as a platform to showcase student businesses

Leeds students run amazing, diverse small businesses from photography to map making all the way to crochet and so much more.

As editor, I would make sure the Gryphon dedicates a section of the paper’s business segment both online and in print to showcasing these businesses and meeting the faces behind them.


Questions? Drop me a line: @ionaforgryphon on Instagram and Iona For Gryphon on Facebook.