Outcry as funding shortfall forces the 'Leeds Student' newspaper to stop printing

 

The 'Leeds Student' newspaper has come under threat due to a lack of funds and may no longer be able to print.

The newspaper, which comes out every Friday during term time, has played a crucial role at Leeds University Union since it was founded in 1970.

Earlier this week, members of the society which is responsible for the publication of the paper were told that LUU had failed to achieve the funding needed to cover printing costs by £5,200. At present, the newspaper receives funding directly from the union, and also partially through advertising, which is controlled by the union’s marketing team.

The volunteers who help to write and edit Leeds Student say they have attempted to save the newspaper through external advertising, but were prevented from doing so in case it interfered with LUU's own commercial activities.

Jasmine Andersson, who is currently the Associate Editor at Leeds Student, told The Independent: “I’m incredibly proud of my team and our editor for making their voice heard in an incredibly difficult and frustrating situation.”

As one of the UK’s most active student newspapers, Leeds Student has received numerous student media awards.

Former comment editor James Legge, who currently works for The Independent, said: “It would be a massive shame if the paper closes, because I can personally think of tens – and there are probably hundreds – of journalists working in national and regional papers who got their first gig at the Leeds Student. I know I wouldn’t be a journalist if I’d never started at LS.

“To lose an outlet like that is likely to damage the chances of lots of students.”

Following the announcement, student Kyle Hulme has launched an online petition, and the newspaper is encouraging students both at the University of Leeds and throughout the UK to support its campaign. Hundreds of students have taken a stance and at the time of writing, 35 student societies had officially come out in support of the campaign. It is expected that this number will increase today.

Students from a range of courses and societies are discussing possible further action.

Greg Sturge, Leeds University Union’s activities officer, said: “There have not been any cuts to the funding that Leeds Student newspaper receives from the Union. The paper is funded in two ways; through a fixed contribution from the Union and through an additional variable amount of funding generated through advertising revenue.

“The paper has not been told that there is no additional funding, but rather that we need to work harder together to secure further funding from external advertisers to ensure that the paper can print until the end of the year as planned.”

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