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15.05.2023 from 
Study + Teaching
Small word, big issue

"tja?!" is not only a small word with many meanings, but also the name of the student magazine of the University of Magdeburg. The students take a critical look at major topics. The idea for the magazine came about at the end of 2020 as part of a project module. In the meantime, the third issue has already been published, which deals with the topic of power. Unlike daily newspapers, the editorial team of tja?! works on a selected cultural topic, which is examined from different angles. A new issue is published every semester.

View over the shoulder of a student in the current issue of tja (c) Anna Friese Uni MagdeburgIn the third issue, the student editorial team dealt with the topic of power. (Photo: Anna Friese / University of Magdeburg)

"At the magazine, decisions are made with the entire editorial team and there is no single person with absolute control. So the topics are also decided by the team. For this, everyone can name suggestions and a group decision is made to determine the topic for the next issue," explains Sarah Richard. She and six other students make up the magazine's new team, which changed completely at the start of the new semester. At the weekly editorial meetings, things are just as professional as in other editorial offices. "In the first three meetings, organizational matters are clarified, a plan for the semester is made, a deadline for contributions is set and the topic is discussed in detail," says Sarah Richard. The meetings that follow then serve as an opportunity for exchange among the team members, because "working on the magazine should be fun for everyone, but not at the expense of other commitments such as studies and work," she continues.

The path to the finished product is also marked by ups and downs at tja?!, as was the case with the recently published third issue. On the one hand, it was difficult to reconcile work on the magazine with studies, so that some editors may have left the team before the end of the semester. On the other hand, it was due to the complexity of the topic that not all contributions could be published, as research, for example, proved to be difficult. Since a magazine consists not only of content, but also a layout and graphics must be designed by the team, parts of the team have independently learned the program InDesign.

Three female students sit on pallet furniture and read the second issue of the student magazine tja (c) Anna Friese Uni MagdeburgAlthough the editorial team of the second edition is no longer actively involved, it is available to the new team with advice and support. (Photo: Anna Friese / Uni Magdeburg)

To ensure that the next issue "Social Inequality & Injustice" can also be published independently, the team is still looking for contributors. "So far, we have only had our open editorial meeting, in which the new team got to know each other and there was brainstorming on the topic. Since we are still in the beginning stages and can still use reinforcements, the rule is that all students are welcome to join us!" said Sarah Richard.

Since the magazine cooperated in the past with partners, as for example the association "Wir sehen hin e.V." or student initiatives, the new team would also be pleased about co-operation with organizations for the coming issues.

Interested parties are welcome to contact the team by mail or via a direct message on the Instagram page of the student magazine.

Studierendenzeitschrift tja?!
Author: Catherine Birke