University of London Newspaper
London Student is a student paper, originally the student newspaper of the University of London Union. It began publishing in 1979 and is the largest student-run newspaper in Europe (representing over 120,000 students). It is an editorially independent publication with ultimate control over content and appointments vested in the editorial team as a worker co-operative.
It once distributed 12,500 copies fortnightly during termtime throughout the university year, equating to approximately 12 issues annually. This once made it the largest student newspaper in Europe before it was shut down in July 2014. It was relaunched as a co-operative in January 2015, and now publishes online. The most recent print edition was a single issue published 1 October 2015.
In March 2006, the newspaper broke the story that the Mail on Sunday newspaper had offered student reporters money to infiltrate and record meetings of student Islamic societies in the wake of the London bombings of 7 July 2005. The report, headlined ‘Nailed on Sunday’, created some international media coverage, although the response in the UK was more muted. The Mail on Sunday responded by saying that they were investigating “a subject of great public interest” and had acted “responsibly”, but did not deny the allegations.
Also in spring 2006, the paper was one of few in the country to take a strong supportive stance of lecturers regarding the AUT and NATFHE (now UCU) joint strike action as they fought for better pay and conditions. The story led the paper from Christmas onwards, with the exception of the issue containing ‘Nailed on Sunday’.
In October 2013, the paper broke the story that departing UCL Provost Malcolm Grant’s leaving party cost the college over £17,000. The story was later picked up by local and national newspapers.
For many years, the newspaper was a red-top tabloid. This changed under Patrick Ward’s editorship, with a transition toward a midmarket newspaper that better matched the more serious journalistic style of the paper’s contributors. The cultural pullout section also returned, under the new name of ‘Play’.
In 2012 the newspaper had to cut back due to funding difficulties with ULU, meaning the paper was condensed, with many sections shortened but none removed.