Editors in Chief of Queen’s Journal Volume 149 elected

Aysha Tabassum and Shelby Talbot to lead the paper next year

The results of the election were announced last Friday.
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Aysha Tabassum and Shelby Talbot were elected the next Editors in Chief of The Journal, Volume 149, last Friday. 

Tabassum is one of The Journal’s Features Editors and Talbot is the Lifestyle Editor.

With 26 votes—72 per cent—cast in their favour, Tabassum and Talbot secured the vote over Arts Editor Nathan Gallagher, who earned 10 votes—28 per cent.

With 36 out of 44 eligible voters participating in the election, there was an 82 per cent voter turnout.

“I still can’t believe I get to lead this paper and do that with someone I love so much,” Tabassum said after being elected. 

“For years now, I have spent hours and hours a week writing, editing, ranting, and trying to make The Journal a better place for women who look like me. I’m so honoured I’ll be able to continue that work next year with someone I respect so much, who has always been an ally to me in my anti-racist efforts.”

Talbot said she was “honoured and moved” to have been selected for the position. 

“There’s something so special about being entrusted with the next volume of The Journal by our incredible coworkers and peers, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” she said. 

“I’m so fortunate to be working alongside someone I care about and respect so much, someone as accomplished and driven as Aysha, who has done so much important work at this paper already.”

Addressing their future staff, Tabassum and Talbot both said they’re excited to work with them.

“I can’t wait to meet all of you and get started on putting out some spectacular content. I can’t wait to hear your ideas, argue during Ed Board, and be exhausted together every press night,” Tabassum said. 

“The voices and talents of the people behind the paper are a pivotal part of what makes The Journal such an incredible publication, and I’m confident yours will continue that tradition,” Talbot said. “I care about you, and I cannot wait to share this place that I love with you all and see the amazing content you’ll create.”

Editor in Chief Raechel Huizinga reflected on working with Tabassum and Talbot over the past two years, saying both women “certainly deserve this achievement.”

“During the pandemic this year, both went above and beyond for their sections and the paper overall. I’m confident Aysha and Shelby have what it takes to transform QJ, and I’m really thankful I had the chance to work with them both for so long,” she said.

“They have each inspired me, made me laugh, and taught me new things which gives me hope for the future of journalism. Aysha and Shelby are exactly what QJ needs right now.”

Managing Editor Matt Scace is also confident in Tabassum and Talbot.

“While I’ve known Aysha and Shelby for less than a year, it took a matter of seconds for me to realize they were a pair of forces,” he said. “Aysha’s recommendation of forming the BIPOC Advisory Board will have an impact on The Journal long after she’s left, and the meaningful direction Shelby has taken the Lifestyle section in this year has made it a unique area of the paper that’s able to have fun while equally willing and able to talk about important issues.”

“They’re both talented reporters and writers who have been an absolute joy to edit this year. The respect and care they have for each other is obvious, which is a critical yet underrated component of this job that’ll only bring them success. If I’ll allow myself one cliché, there’s not a hill these two can’t climb, and I know Volume 149 and its staff are lucky to have them at the helm.”

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