Forge Media Hub to stay open after #SaveOurHub student campaign
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The University of Sheffield’s Media Hub is to stay open after controversial plans put forward by the Students’ Union were scrapped. The university’s SU had put forward proposals to turn Forge Press’s dedicated Media Hub into staff office space, and move student journalists into an area half the current size. The plans were immediately condemned by students, supporters and local press, who rallied to save the media space with the online campaign #SaveOurHub. A change.org petition, started on 16th July (the day after the plans were revealed) received 1,756 signatures before its plea was agreed to. Forge Press writer Joss Woodend also wrote about the #SaveOurHub campaign for The National Student on Friday. Yesterday a meeting between the Chairs of the Forge media outlets and the SU President led to the proposals being scrapped. A joint statement from SU President Christy McMorrow and Forge Media stated that the proposed plan “would do too much harm to Forge Media’s production and therefore will not go ahead.” The statement finished by saying that “our extremely valued student media work will not face any reduction in resources or space.” It was signed by McMorrow, alongside Forge Press Editor Polly Winn, Radio Station Manager Luke Wilson, and TV Station Manager Eden Wilson. The Hub is used by fortnightly student newspaper Forge Press, as well as by Forge TV and Forge Radio. It was opened using donations from Sheffield alumni, expressly for the training of student journalists, but the plans would have seen it converted into office space for the SU as part of a wider reorganisation. Forge’s media activities would have been moved to a smaller space within the SU, which editor Polly Winn called “ridiculous”. She added that “People overlook how much impact we have on the university. We hold the union to account and we also publicise important events the like the students union elections and Varsity.” Forge Press is one of the UK’s most successful student media outlets, with its writers regularly being nominated for journalism awards.
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