Leeds Student is a British weekly student newspaper, published free every Friday during term-time and distributed around the University of Leeds, Leeds, England. The only paid position is that of the editor, who is elected yearly by members of Leeds University Union. The articles are written by students, and are largely about local and student based issues. It is one of the country's most active university newspapers and regularly wins national student media awards.
Leeds Student was formed in 1970 by the merger of the Leeds University Union newspaper (Union News) and the then Leeds Polytechnic Students Union newspaper, but in November 2005 Leeds Metropolitan University students voted to disaffiliate from Leeds Student, citing under-representation. Once known as an LUU 'Incorporated Body' along with RAG, Action, Nightline and LSRfm.com it now falls in the 'media' section of the student activities department along with LSRfm.com, LS:TV, Photography Society, Lippy Magazine, Leeds Review and Film Making Society.
The editorship became a full-time, paid sabbatical position in 1972 after a campaign led by the then editor, Paul Vallely CMG, who went on to become the first sabbatical editor. Notable previous editors include Paul Dacre and Nicholas Witchell.
Leeds Metropolitan University Students Union's Dissociation
In December 2005, Leeds Metropolitan University Students Union (LMUSU) members chose via ballot to dissociate from the paper. In the past, this had been a joint venture between the two universities, but after continued complaints of a Leeds University centred perspective, a referendum was called to decide whether LMSU should retain its link with the paper and continue paying a small proportion toward the paper's expenses. Members voted to dissolve the link, and henceforth the paper is a solely Leeds University Union
maintained enterprise. Many Leeds Student alumni have expressed dismay at the decision, arguing that the paper gained strength from its ability to draw on all students in Leeds for readers, staff and stories. At least two former Leeds Student editors, Ian Coxon and Richard Fletcher, had been students at Leeds Met.
has stirred debate over a variety of articles. These range from a full-page interview with BNP
leader Nick Griffin
, in which a remark that homosexuals should be kept in the closet and the door behind them "kept firmly shut" (as well as other, race-based comments) caused great offence. The paper also covered his subsequent trial at Leeds Crown court in February 2006.
In February/March 2006, the paper published an interview by Matt Kennard, a Leeds Student journalist, with Dr Frank Ellis- a controversial professor of Russian
and Slavonic Studies who has expressed his support for unpopular ideas such as that ethnicity influences intelligence and stating that "immigrants should be hunted down and deported." Dr Ellis's comments were widely condemned. A campaign was launched by Hanif Leylabi, President of the Unite Against Fascism
organization, which called upon the university to sack Ellis. The story received coverage in The Observer
, The Daily Telegraph
, The Independent
, Times Higher Education
and various other national newspapers and radio stations as well as national and local television services. A statement was released by Leeds University Union
calling for his dismissal. Leeds University condemned Ellis' views as abhorrent and announced it was seeking advice on the legal implications of his comments.
Ellis was subsequently suspended by the Vice-Chancellor, Michael Arthur, pending disciplinary proceedings. The University issued a media release stating that it was investigating an alleged breach of its diversity policy. It also said Ellis's views were wholly at odds with the University's values, he had jeopardised the university's obligations under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, and that he had not apologised for his remarks. Dr Ellis took early retirement in June 2006, pre-empting the outcome of the disciplinary action.
A Supplementary Story
Leeds Student's mix of content was, until 1994, held in one tabloid newspaper. Under the editorship of Tim Gallagher however, the newspaper launched the first edition of 'Blurb', a listings guide for Leeds incorporating seven day TV listings, believed to be a first in student journalism. One year later, with Matt Roper at the helm, 'Blurb' was revamped and became 'Juice', billed as a "16 page pullout magazine". Sporting weekly tag lines such as "More dangerous than O.J." and "Better than the peel thing", the magazine incorporated lifestyle features, culture, music reviews, TV guide and a look at the week ahead. Through its 10-year life Juice grew to 24 pages in length, equalling that of the main paper, and included reviews about clubs, arts and books.
'Juice' morphed into 'LS2' in 2005 under the editorship of Jes Salter, undergoing something of a redesign. But the biggest change came a year later, when Ben Schofield launched a 32-page lifestyle pullout. The new size pullout, similar to that of the 'Sunday Times culture mag', now stapled, trimmed and inserted in to the 24 page tabloid, carries four weekly features and the same mix of reviews with the added innovation of 'e-page', a satirical look at the world of the web. There are also regular and infrequent columnists, astrology and Emily Israel's 'Dear Diary'.
Recently due to lack of advertising, and budget issues, two issues have been cut from this year's 'Volume' (Number 37), and LS2 is no longer a pullout, now known as LS2 Inside.
A short foray into the world of gossip-rag journalism, AKA 'Scorch', lasted only two weeks, after which readers enjoyed a resurrection of e-page by Tim Sevenths. e-page itself has now been replace by i-page, edited by a fictional writer, like e-page before it.
As with LS2 becoming LS2 Inside last year (2006-07), the paper is now full colour for the year 2007-08. This change has been highlighted with a new better designed and interactive website.
Leeds University graduate Chris Leadbeater is believed to be unique in having contributed to at least one issue of Leeds Student in each of six consecutive academic years (1994-95 to 1999-2000)
Reunions of former Leeds Student staff are held at irregular intervals, usually in London and often at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub on Fleet Street. On 30 September 2006 David Smith (editor 1996-97) organised a 10th anniversary reunion dinner attended by members of the 1996-97 team and seven former Leeds Student editors. In 2006, at London's Soho House, Leeds University's alumni department organised a Leeds Media Group reunion for graduates of the university now working in the media, many of whom were Leeds Student alumni. The event was repeated in 2007 at the BBC's Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London.
- 2006: Shortlisted, NUS/Press Association Training Student Newspaper of the Year
- 2004: Runner-up, Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year, Runner-up, Daily Mirror/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 2003: Shortlisted, Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year; Runner-up, Daily Mirror/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 2002: Winner, Independent/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year; Shortlisted, Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year;
- 2001: Shortlisted, Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year
- 2000: Shortlisted, Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year; Shortlisted, Independent/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1999: Winner, Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year; Winner, Independent/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1998: Runner-up, Guardian/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1997: Runner-up, Guardian/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1996: Winner, Guardian/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1995: Runner-up, Guardian/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1993: Runner-up, Guardian/NUS Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1972: Winner, Student Newspaper of the Year
- 1970: Winner, Student Newspaper of the Year
Editors Past and Present
"Leeds Student alumni in the media are like rats in London; you're never more than 20 yards away from one."
Damian Whitworth, editor, 1990-91
|Editors (Sabbatical) |
- 2008-09: Laurie Whitwell (current)
- 2007-08: Charlotte Griffiths (Daily Mail)
- 2006-07: Ben Schofield (Liverpool Daily Post)
- 2005-06: Jes Salter (Daily Telegraph)
- 2004-05: Karl Mansfield (Press Association)
- 2003-04: Mark Powell (Metro)
- 2002-03: Heather Browne (school teacher in Sardinia)
- 2001-02: Paul Gallagher (freelance in Japan)
- 2000-01: Clare Rudebeck (Oxfam media unit)
- 1999-00: Naveed Raja (Gulf News)
- 1998-99: Alex Gubbay (BBC Sport)
- 1997-98: Ben East (Metro)
- 1996-97: David Smith (The Observer)
- 1995-96: Matt Roper (Glasgow Herald)
- 1994-95: Tim Gallagher (Sky News)
- 1993-94: Richard Fletcher (Daily Telegraph)
- 1992-93: Ceri Thomas (freelance)
- 1991-92: Allison Philips (Daily Mirror)
- 1990-91: Damian Whitworth (The Times)
- 1989-90: Robin Perrie (The Sun)
- 1988-89: Andrew Harrison (Word)
- 1987-88: Jay Rayner (The Observer)
- 1986-87: Carl Hindmarch (freelance TV director)
|Editors (Sabbatical) cont. |
- 1985-86: Helen Slingsby (?)
- 1984-85: Jonathan Calvert (Sunday Times)
- 1983-84: Adam LeBor (The Times)
- 1982-83: Sue Rylance (IPC magazines)
- 1981-82: Chris Jaecker (?)
- 1980-81: Catherine Smith (?)
- 1979-80: Hugh Bateson (?)
- 1978-79: ?
- 1977-78: Peter Burdin (BBC)
- 1976-77: ?
- 1975-76: Mike Smith (Finsbury financial communications)
- 1974-75: Nicholas Witchell (BBC)
- 1973-74: Ian Coxon (Sunday Times)
- 1972-73: Paul Vallely (The Independent)Editors (Non-Sabbatical)
- 1971-72: Paul Vallely (The Independent)Union News Editors (Non-Sabbatical)
- 1970-71: Richard Munro
- 1969-70: Vic Parker
- 1968-69: Paul Dacre (Daily Mail)
Other alumni working in the media