Concrete (student newspaper)
|Headquarters||Union House, University of East Anglia|
Concrete is compiled by a team of around ten section editors and headed by the editor-in-chief and their deputy. It is distributed throughout campus fortnightly as a free pickup newspaper, and online via their website.
Concrete is part of the UEA Media Collective, which also includes the student radio station Livewire and UEA:TV.
Concrete's sections include News, Global, Features, Comment, Science, Travel and Sport, plus an editorial page and a 'Hey UEA' section rounding up Media Collective and campus news from social media, also featuring a crossword. Sections are each between two and four pages long.
Inside Concrete is Venue, a 24-page culture supplement which includes Music, Film, Arts, Creative Writing, Gaming, Fashion and TV.
Previous issues have included interviews with Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, Charles Clarke, Lord Deben, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Wolf Alice, Michael Palin, Harrison Ford, Joey Essex, Stephen Fry, Max Mosley, and Greg James. Concrete also publishes its famous annual sex survey, plus an annual Derby Day pull-out when UEA's sports teams face the University of Essex.
Concrete was first published on January 22, 1992, continuing a tradition of student media at UEA that included Phoenix and Insight. There was also an earlier short-lived magazine called Concrete in the 1970s, whose logo was adapted by the newspaper in a redesign in 1997. The paper was originally set up independently of both the University and student union, though with the support of the School of English and American Studies. It became part of the UEA Students' Union in 1995, and formally became a union society in 2001. It is therefore funded and published by the UEA Students' Union, with writers and editors paying nominal subs. Advertising is also co-ordinated by the Students' Union, however the newspaper technically retains editorial independence.
Concrete was unusual among UK student newspapers in having a full-time paid student editor who was not a sabbatical officer of the student union. However, in 2012 this system was discontinued and the job became a part-time unpaid position alongside academic studies. Other senior editorial positions were created on a flexible basis to help alleviate the responsibilities, including Online Editor.
On September 29, 1993, Concrete launched a standalone entertainment supplement called The Event which was offered for sale off-campus. The last standalone edition of The Event was published on March 2, 1994 but the brand was retained. It was replaced by Venue in 2010 which continues as a separate, pull-out magazine inside the paper today.
Past editors and contributors have had notable careers in the media, including Polly Graham, who was a founding member of the Daily Mirror newspaper's The 3am Girls gossip column, and Katie Hind, who was The People's showbiz editor. Many alumni have gone into jobs with local newspaper group Archant.
Concrete's achievements were recognised in 1995 by The Guardian newspaper and the National Union of Students and shortlisted by both in the 'Student Newspaper of the Year' category. By the time of Concrete's fiftieth issue, it was being read by 98% of students at UEA.
Concrete also communicates with UEA students via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and its website was redesigned prior to the 2012-2013 academic year. It was through these mediums that Concrete operated a live feed for Derby Day, which at its peak was followed by 500 students at the University.
Concrete has previously published annual drugs surveys, house-hunting guides and one-off creative writing supplements with Venue. There was a short-lived Finance section in the main paper in the year 2017-18.
- 1995 The Guardian / NUS Student Media Awards – Winner, Newspaper of the Year
- 2000 The Independent / NUS National Student Journalism Awards - Winner, Best Newspaper 
- 2000 The Guardian Student Media Awards – Nominated, Newspaper of the Year 
- 2000 The Guardian Student Media Awards – Nominated, Feature Writer of the Year - Stephen Collins 
- 2000 The Guardian Student Media Awards – Nominated, Sports Writer of the Year - Nick Henegan 
- 2001 The Independent / NUS National Student Journalism Awards – Runner-Up, Best Newspaper 
- 2002 The Independent / NUS National Student Journalism Awards – Nominated, Best Reporter - Katie Hind
- 2002 The Independent / NUS National Student Journalism Awards – Nominated, Best Arts Journalist - Charlotte Ronalds
- 2003 The Guardian Student Media Awards – Nominated, Feature Writer of the Year - Jo Locke
- 2003 The Guardian Student Media Awards – Nominated, Newspaper of the Year 
- 2003 The Guardian Student Media Awards – Nominated, Feature Writer of the Year - Nathan Dixon
- 2004 The Guardian Student Media Awards – Nominated, Magazine of the Year - The Event supplement 
- 2005 The Guardian Student Media Awards - Winner, Travel Writer - Robert Castell 
- Various SPA awards and nominations.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
- "Tipped for the top | Media". The Guardian. 2000-09-10. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
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- "Student media awards | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
- "The shortlist in full | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
- "The shortlists in full | Media". The Guardian. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
- Jon Bentham. "Hat-trick puts Cardiff in a class of its own | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
- Matchett, Conor. "UEA's student newspaper shortlisted for ten national awards". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 2018-11-14.