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UEA celebrates 25 years of student journalism

Concrete editors

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is celebrating an important landmark, with its student newspaper, Concrete, reaching its 25th anniversary edition.

“Concrete is a very important part of the fabric of life at UEA, not least because its reporters hold the University’s authorities and Students’ Union to account - an entirely healthy and necessary role, said  UEA Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson.

“Putting together a newspaper is a weighty responsibility for budding journalists and I’m proud of Concrete and all the students who have contributed to it. Student clubs and societies, like Concrete, are a vital part of the heartbeat of university life. Getting a good degree is important but so are the extra-curricular opportunities that stretch students in new directions and enable them to learn new skills outside seminars, lectures and exams.”

The Vice-Chancellor was speaking at a reception to mark the anniversary in the Sainsbury Centre on Friday 28 April, which was attended by student editors and journalists from the past and present.

For the last 25 years, Concrete has documented student life and university events and offers a glimpse into its history as well as chronicling its present in, to date, 338 issues, amounting to more than 40.5 million pages.

Launched in 1992, the first issues covered the construction of the Nelson Court and Constable Terrace accommodation and Castle Mall in the city centre, with the latest issue reporting on the unveiling of the Sir Antony Gormley sculptures and reaction to the announcement of June’s general election. The students have also interviewed an impressive list of celebrities over the years, including Stephen Fry (twice), Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Geldof and UEA alumnus Greg James.

Current Editor, final year American Studies student Megan Baynes (pictured above with founding editor Simon Mann), said: “Many things at university contribute to making us who we are at graduation but, for me, the biggest factor will always be Concrete. It was the society I was too scared to join in the first year and have gone on to lead.” Like other editors before her, it has been a springboard to beginning a career in journalism.

In addition to celebrating its anniversary, Concrete has been shortlisted for 10 awards, including Best Publication, in this year’s Student Publication Association awards, further recognition of its quality.

As the University is very much part of city life, copies of Concrete are available off campus and can be picked up at locations around the city including the Bus Station and Theatre Royal, or you can view it online.