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|Owner(s)||University of Sheffield|
|Founded||1950 (as DARTS)|
|Headquarters||University of Sheffield Union of Students, Western Bank, S10 2TG.|
Forge Press is the University of Sheffield's student newspaper. Published fortnightly during term-time by a team of up to 100 student volunteers, the paper has a circulation of 2,500 and is distributed free across campus and the surrounding student area to a projected readership of 15,000–20,000.
The University of Sheffield has a history of student journalism that predates its inception as a university when it received its charter in 1905.
Following the Second World War, a new newspaper was set up at the University called Darts, The name stemmed from a sister arts publication, Arrows, which had been around since the 1930s, with the new venture was seen as a smaller entity than its sibling – a dart being a sort of miniature arrow. (The paper was ultimately to outlive its brethren, which closed in the late 1980s.)
In the 1997/98 academic year a new editorial team took charge of Darts and decided to change the name. In the present day, Darts is the name of the part of the Comment section which provides a satirical and comical take on recent news stories and events.
On 28 November 1997 the newly rebranded Steel Press was unveiled. In style the paper was not particularly different from what had come before, yet over the following nine years underwent many changes. Ranging in appearance from something not dissimilar to the Daily Express to its eventual appearance as the Daily Mirror of student publications, the Sheffield Steel Press as it was known (Sheffield Steel as it appeared on the cover) continued to provide a proving ground for young journalists hoping for a career in the media or simply looking for an interesting diversion during their time at the University of Sheffield.
In 2008, Sheffield Steel Press merged with Sure Radio and the website to make a fully converged student media called Forge Media. This consists of the newspaper Forge Press, Forge Radio and ForgeToday.com, as well as the more recent Forge TV.
On 4 July 2012, Forge Media was named Best Student Media at the NUS Awards. The award recognised the many hours of hard work put in by the members of the Forge Press, Forge Radio and Forge TV teams, as individual teams and as one fully converged media package, displaying a wide range of multimedia skills and including hundreds of members of the student body, and reaching large audiences.
The organisation's editor is an unpaid position for a current student. As of May 2018, the Editor is David Anderson, and the Deputy Editors are James Pendlington and David Craig.
The editorial team consists of usually two co-editors for each section, but some have one or three. The team is elected at the Annual General Meeting before Easter of each year, and takes over the running of the paper for the last issue of the academic year.
The various sections of the paper are: News, Comment, Features, Sport, Lifestyle, Coffee Break, Music, Screen, Arts, and Games.
Skills required of an editor range from management of teams of volunteers, to page layout and graphic design using programs such as Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop, as well as communication, organisation and flexibility.
The newspaper also has an online presence, forgetoday.com, which contains all articles published in the fortnightly paper, as well as additional content and archived editions.
Since 2003 the University of Sheffield Union of Students has employed a non-student in a support role which holds no editorial power and is designed to aid the day-to-day running of the organisation. In 2006 this role was expanded, retitled to 'Media Development Officer', to support all student media and any student or society who wants to use the Media Hub facilities. This role was held by Robert Ellerington from 2006 to 2010. Robert was succeeded by former Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs in October 2010, who in turn was succeeded by Mikey Smith in September 2011 after her return to broadcasting with XFM. Following a staff restructure, the role was expanded again to include Theatre Groups and Film Unit] and re-titled 'Specialist Development Coordinator – Media & Performance'. Initially this role was held by Beth Cunningham, before being taken over by Freyja Gillard in 2016.