Word from the Editor: The First Six Months

all of us

Rife editor, Nikesh, reflects on the last six months of Rife and says a tearful goodbye to our first set of journalists.

Nothing could prepare me for this last six months…

Nine months ago, I started at Watershed on an unnamed project to make a digital platform for all you young people of Bristol. Yes, me. In my thirties me.

At the time, I had no idea what it would be.

Eight months ago, I met with the Watershed team, absorbed reports and focus groups with you guys and tried to pull together an idea of what this platform would be. I still had no idea what it would be.

Seven months ago, we had a name and we had a web designer scrabbling away at code to make this thing you’re reading this piece on. I was sort of working out the beginnings of an idea of what this would be.

Six months ago, our first set of young journalists – Little Ryan, Adibah, Jon, Shin_LoveLife – started. And my life changed. And any idea I had of what Rife magazine was going to be changed.

I’ve worked in a lot of jobs. I’ve worked for football clubs on anti-racism projects; I’ve worked to put books in the hands of every child no matter their background; I’ve written novels and stood on stages with people like Kate Tempest saying my words.

They’ve listened to me drone on and on about ‘why should anyone care?’

Nothing could prepare me for this last six months. I will cherish these first journalists so much. They’ve brought light and inspiration and enthusiasm to a project we didn’t even know what it was when we started. They’ve taught me slang. They’ve made me smile, laugh, feel righteous indignation. They’ve taught me, taken my cack-handed pearls of wisdom about content creation and challenged themselves. They’ve listened to me drone on and on about ‘why should anyone care?’ And they’ve created Rife magazine.

I now know what Rife magazine is. It’s what it was always meant to be. A platform for many voices with many things to say to be heard.

A platform for many voices with many things to say to be heard.

When I first met Little Ryan, Jon, Adibah and Shin_LoveLife, I listened to them talk about their hopes and dreams, not only for this project and their internships, but also for their lives. Having worked with them, I truly believe they can achieve anything they want.

Watching Adibah attack social issues with an articulate ferocity and strength of character; reading the reams and reams of text from Little Ryan, who was a self-confessed non-writer at the start; favouriting the joyous tweets of Jon as he took the Rife Twitter account into some edgy and hilarious places (and Sloth Thursdays); and absorbing the positivity and delicacy of Shin_LoveLife’s attention to finding the uplifting moments in the darkest of subjects – well, I almost feel like a proud parent, a proud teacher.

Join me in watching them flourish.

It’s been an amazing six months. Rife would not be Rife without our first set of young journalists. They’ve created some incredible content. And they are amazing, ambitious, brilliant, wonderful people.

Join me in watching them flourish.

Little Ryan’s new YouTube channel

Jon’s YouTube channel

Shin_LoveLife on Twitter

Adibah on Twitter

Our next set of journalists start tomorrow. Check back to meet them.

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.