Student (newspaper)

Student (newspaper)

"Student" is a weekly British independent newspaper produced by students at the University of Edinburgh. Founded in 1887 by author Robert Louis Stevenson, it is the oldest student newspaper in the United Kingdom and currently holds the title of Best Student Newspaper in Scotland, awarded by the "Herald" Student Press Awards in 2006 and 2007.

"Student" today

The newspaper has been independent of the university since 1992 but relies for funding on the Edinburgh University Students' Association, which sells advertising on its behalf.

All staff are volunteers, who fit work for the newspaper around their studies. The newspaper is printed on a Tuesday and usually consists of 28 pages. It has a physical circulation of 8000 copies per issue and is read by some 20,000 people in Edinburgh. [ [ Student Newspaper | Edinburgh University Students' Association Website ] ]


Developing from Stevenson's original publication, "Student" quickly became a small weekly magazine, published by the Students' Representative Council. A typical, turn-of-the-century edition of "Student" would open with a short biography of a notable person and an editorial. The remaining content largely comprised notes from various societies, sports results, poetry and literary reviews, and profiles of newly-appointed lecturers. The magazine was supported by advertising, but cost two pence. [The Student, Volume XIV (Winter 1899-1900)]

By the 1970s, "Student" had become a weekly newspaper, roughly Berliner in format. The running of the newspaper was by this stage in the control of the Student Publications Board, a body independent of the university. It was during the first half of the 1970s that Gordon Brown was a news editor. The type of content had shifted to reflect the times: a typical copy would contain pages on news, the environment, society, features, politics and entertainment. By this point, the price had risen to five pence. [The Student, November 14, 1975]

The 1990s saw the introduction of computers to the newspaper; the offices were also moved from the Student Publications Board offices at 1 Buccleuch Place to their present location in the Pleasance, anecdotally held to be space reclaimed after the closure of a monkey-testing lab. Initially, the newspaper was laid out on Apple Macintosh computers. During this period, Darius Danesh wrote - briefly - for the paper, as a film and music critic.

In 1992 Student, which had been selling for 30 pence, was dropped by the student union as part of a cost-cutting exercise. A grant of £5,000 from the University Development Fund allowed it to continue as a student society and regain its editorial independence, distributing on campus free of charge.

The paper, now a tabloid in format, won the Herald Student Media Award for best newspaper in 1998, 2006 and 2007, and the Guardian Student Media Awards for 'Best Newspaper on a Shoestring' in 2001. The paper was redesigned several times in the lead-up to the millennium, eventually switching to PCs for layout, and winning the Herald Award for its design in 2004. After failing to win the same award the following year, the paper was again radically redesigned in 2006.

Many of "Student"'s former writers have gone on to become internationally renowned journalists and politicians. Past staff members of "Student" include the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown; Lord Steel; the late Robin Cook; and many of Fleet Street's reporters and editors. Recent graduates include Guardian staff writer and editor Helen Pidd and BBC radio reporter Chris Page.


Chris Brand

University lecturer Chris Brand, who had published controversial work into race and intelligence, and had castigated feminist promiscuity, single-parenting and paedohysteria, was asked to leave the university in 1997 for bringing it into "disrepute". "Student" had been instrumental in calling for his sacking after his book, "The g Factor", was published. Finally, Brand was compensated for unfair dismissal; and Student published in 2003 a further example of his psychorealism, urging girls to 'keep their (pubic} hair on' so as to improve their romantic chances. [IQ Researcher Suspended for Views on Paedophilia by Holden, Constance (November 22, 1996). [] . "Science".]

Financial collapse

In early 2002, "Students continuous run came to an end when the newspaper faced "five-figure debts". The official explanation was that the post-September 11 climate had caused a downturn in advertising, something being widely claimed by other newspapers at the time. [Edinburgh Student newspaper folds by Curtis, Polly (May 24, 2002). [,4273,4420722,00.html] "'. "The Guardian".] . The newspaper was relaunched at the start of the 2002-3 academic year and advertising sales, which had been traditionally managed internally, began to be handled by the advertising department of the Students' Association, a system which continues today. The paper recovered quickly, returning to weekly publication with a redesign soon after the start of the next academic year.

Anti-Gaelic bigotry'

The newspaper caused some controversy in 2004 when a television listing, mocking the Scottish Gaelic, was republished around the internet ['Student' newspaper in anti-Scots racism row (May 24, 2004). [] . "Indymedia Scotland".] A flurry of angry, concerned and threatening letters, largely condemning all who worked at the newspaper as bigots, followed; that the listings in question were traditionally deliberately offensive was not taken into account, due to the out-of-context nature of the forwarded message.

'Page Three' feature

In early 2005, "Student" published an editorial discussing Page Three and nudity in the media, accompanied by two full-page, semi-naked glamour model photographs: one male, one female. The newspaper received a complaint from the university's [ Islamic Society (ISocEd)] as a result. The local newspaper "Edinburgh Evening News" published a story regarding the feature, which was subsequently picked up by several national newspapers. The photograph of the female model - who was wearing underwear and a scarf covering her nipples - was reprinted alongside each of these articles.

The majority of the coverage was seen by many as wildly misleading; newspapers claimed "floods of complaints" [Student newspaper sparks 'Page 3' row [] . by Lessware, Jonathan (February 11, 2005). "Scotsman Education".] and that the female model was in hiding. Furthermore, although Catherine Harper of [ Scottish Women Against Pornography] said that " [This] will lead students to only view women as a pair of breasts", little mention was made of the male model also published. However, The Sun defended the publication of a page similar to its own and even offered the model a place in its paper.

Again, the Students' Association and university representatives declined to comment on the feature, and the story died out.

"Pure" Controversy

In November 2006 "Student" ran a series of front pages highlighting the Christian Union's "Pure" course which allegedly taught that homosexuality was a "curable condition." The main complaint of "Student" was that the course was being taught at the Chaplaincy Centre, which is a university building. This raised concerns in regards to the university's anti-discrimination policy. What followed, was a temporary ban of the "Pure" course and a subsequent threats of litigation. The story became a national press fiasco, though "Student" was the first to break the story.

JK Rowling Interview

In early March 2008, "Student" published an interview with JK Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter series. Rowling told "Student" journalist Adeel Amini that she had considered suicide during her mid-20's, and that she had overcome depression through counselling. On 23rd March, newspapers from around the world, including "USA Today", the British newspaper "The Times" and several major Indian newspapers published the excerpt from Amini's interview.

Recent editors

*1st Set: Jenny Baldwin & Liz Rawlings

*3rd Set: Jasper Jackson & Arianna Reiche
*2nd Set: John Herrman & Dominic Hinde
*1st Set: Adeel Amini & Briony Pollard

*3rd Set: Rory Reynolds & Jess Winch
*2nd Set: Vernon Baxter & Chris Cornwell
*1st Set: Miles Johnson & Devon Walshe

*3rd Set: Laura Battle & Paul Traynor
*2nd Set: Fiona Kerr & Jonathan Liew
*1st Set: Emily Crowsley & Alex Kay

*3rd Set: Julie Balazs and Andy Milne
*2nd Set: Stewart Bingham and Sam Friedman
*1st Set: Alisa Mandrigin and Mike Sterry

Notable former editors and staff members

* Gordon Brown (Prime Minister)
* Robin Cook (former Foreign Secretary)
* David Steel (former leader, Liberal Party)
* James Kirkup (Political Editor, The Scotsman)
* Dan Milmo (Transport Correspondent, Guardian)
* Tom Kelly (senior reporter, Daily Mail)
* Graeme Virtue (Arts Editor, Sunday Herald)
* Oliver Wright (News Editor, The Times)
* Simon Stuart (Super Sub, The Herald)
* Sam Lister (Deputy News Editor, The Times)
* Kathy Long (BBC Scotland)
* Tom Gordon (Scottish Political Reporter, Sunday Times)
* Caroline Gammell (Chief Reporter, Press Association)
* Gordon Darroch (The Herald)
* Russell Fallis (ex-Scottish Political Reporter, Press Association)
* Stephen Phelan (Staff Writer, Sunday Herald)
* Laura Peek, (News Reporter, The Times and Daily Mail)
* Nandini Sukumar (Senior Reporter, Bloomberg)
* Noam Friedlander (Author of Celebrity Biography)
* Helen Pidd (Commissioning Editor, Guardian G2 Features)
* Alistair Harkness (Film Reviewer, The Scotsman)
* Alastair Jamieson (Consumer Affairs Correspondent, The Scotsman)
* Rosie Anderson (News Reporter, BBC Online)
* Jon Kelly (News Reporter, BBC Online; ex-Scottish Daily Mirror)
* Chris Page (News Reporter, BBC Radio)

Footnotes and references

See also

* List of newspapers in Scotland

External links

* [ "Student" Newspaper online]

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