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Ten years of The National Student

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It’s mad to think we have been producing The National Student for ten years! When we first put out an issue there was no Facebook (in fact Myspace was just kicking off), Tony Blair was Prime Minister and the Arctic Monkeys were three years off releasing their debut album.

The National StudentIn April 2003, we sent out 5,000 copies of the first test issue of our independent, national student newspaper to students unions and uni departments across the country. The response was positive, but we hit some barriers with student politicians not wanting an uncontrolled, independent student news source on their campus.

We found a friend in the private accommodation companies who granted us distribution permission and by February 2004 we were printing 100,000 copies every month. Many SUs eventually discovered what they were missing and let their students read us.

In 2013, we have gone through many changes. First being a newspaper with a magazine supplement, to being a magazine to embracing the newest technology and looking at all forms of digital publishing.

If there is one thing I am most proud of it is the platform we have offered to student journalists to forward their careers. We now have over 700 student writers on the books, and our past contributors have gone on to work for the likes of The Guardian, NME, Music Week, Men’s Health, Front Magazine and the BBC. We also have authors, film-makers, radio-presenters and photographers who have gained more skills through working for us.

Each year we get a new crop of writers with new skills and new ideas. It is this that has made us worth reading for a whole decade.

I could fill a book with the weird stories of running The National Student all this time – like the day spent with Mi5 whistleblower David Shayler, or picking up the office phone to Norman Lovett (who played Holly in Red Dwarf) and on another occasion to Keith Chegwin!

We had the privilege of interviewing the likes of Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Kasabian and Mark Ronson before they hit the big time and have spent time with actors like Simon Pegg, Natalie Portman and Cameron Diaz.

In the name of journalism, our writers have done some crazy things like travel back from Australia to the UK on a moped, infiltrate the Church of Scientology and goad punk rock bands into punching them in the face!!

There’s just so much that has happened. A small selection of past articles can be found in the ‘TNS is 10’ section.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to, read or helped us out in some way – we wouldn’t still be doing what we do without you.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

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