I never knew that! with Kettle Student Life Co-Editor Alex Veeneman

Alex Veeneman Kettle Mag Naomi Duffree
Written by Naomi

At Kettle Mag the editors remain hidden away in Kettle Towers occupying themselves with ideas, proofing, tweeting, and keeping their ears tuned to the latest news. But what do we know about these busy creatures? Here at frivolity over the coming weeks we intend to find out…and this week we grabbed a word with the Student Life co- editor Alex Veeneman who is based across the pond in Chicago.

My parents don’t know this about me but…


What is your favourite word that rhymes with Kettle?

Fettle – can be best used to describe how I feel today.

How long after you wake up do you check your phone?

Immediately. The first thing that gets checked is my email. I want to be ready for the day ahead, whether it’s a schedule change for a meeting or prioritising a specific story or call (notifications of voice mail messages I get come to my email). I also check the Kettle writers Facebook group to see if there was anything urgent I need to catch up on. Because I work on a significant time delay, I want to be as efficient as possible.

Stranded on a desert island you wouldn’t be without…

My iPhone, so I can keep working and listen to the radio.

What is the most revolting food you’ve ever eaten?


What type of story do you like covering most?

I like writing about the media. I am also conscious of the fact that Kettle is read by a number of people who want to go into journalism, so if I can be in a position where I can contribute to their education, I will jump at it.

I care more about hearing the thoughts of other people compared to others hearing mine – besides, there might be something you hear that sticks with you (that happened to me with a story I covered recently.)

If you couldn’t edit the student-life section for Kettle, which section would you choose?

I would go back to editing the media section. I care deeply about the next generation of journalists and want to make as good of an impact I can.

Which friend that you met at uni is likely to be at your 60th birthday party?

One person who for sure would be there is Tony Lyen. He is one of the folks who really believes in the work that I do. I also suspect long before I’m 60 he’ll be the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport, and an enthusiastic ambassador of the City of Chicago.

Alex Veeneman university,

Wine or beer?

Neither. I don’t drink.

Cat or dog?


cat, Alex Veeneman

Football or rugby?

Football – though I am now a casual observer instead of supporting one team.

Android or iphone?


Apart from writing, what other creative talents do you have?

I was a musician for several years – playing a trombone. A long illness meant I couldn’t play anymore, but it did give me a wider appreciation for the arts.


If you were a punctuation mark, what would you be?

A hashtag. There’s lot of things I want to write about!

What is your most unappealing habit?

I tend to leave tabs on Chrome that I’m not using open while I do other things…

What would you like to be remembered for?

Being able to have done the most good that I could.

Have you ever volunteered for anything?

I am an active member of the Society of Professional Journalists in the US. I write blogs for their blog network and oversee their network of communities. I’m also active with the Student Publication Association.

Who so far, family or otherwise has influenced you in your life?

My mum has immensely. She taught me the basics of journalism and encouraged me in spite of the odds.


Which emoji do you use most frequently?

I use no emojis. I prefer the written word.

What was the last song you listened to on your ipod/phone?

Dornik’s Something About You – since I heard Disclosure play it on their Essential Mix it hasn’t appeared to truly escape from my head!


What is your most over used word or expression?

I need more caffeine.

What keeps you awake at night?

That one idea for a story.