Palatinate (newspaper)

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Coordinates: 54°46′24″N 1°34′18″W / 54.77333°N 1.57167°W / 54.77333; -1.57167

Palatinate Issue 757 5 Dec 2013.png
Front page from the 5 December 2013
Type Fortnightly newspaper
Format Berliner
Owner(s) Durham Students' Union
Publisher Durham Students' Union
Editor Alex Oakley & Michael Loveday
Founded 1948
Headquarters DHouse, Durham

Palatinate is the award-winning official student newspaper of Durham University and is one of Britain's oldest and best-known student publications, having celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008.[1][2] The paper was named NUS/Independent Student Newspaper of the Year in 2001.[3][4][5]

The name of the newspaper derives from the colour Palatinate, a shade of purple closely associated with the university and derived from County Durham's political history as a County Palatine.


Palatinate is published on a fortnightly basis during term time, and its editors are elected on a termly basis; its constitution prevents an editorship lasting more than two terms. Although the Durham Students' Union technically subsidies the paper, revenues from advertising outstrip the cost of production, ensuring that the publication actually makes money for the DSU. Despite the potential conflict of interest arising from the student union subsidising the paper, Palatinate often publishes articles critical of the union. However, the publication does not have complete editorial independence: since it is funded by the Durham Students' Union, any libel/defamation cases would be brought against the union as a whole. As a result, union officers check the content for any potentially libellous material before the newspaper goes to print, and retain power of censorship.

The paper reports news about Durham University and its sporting activities in addition to publishing local news, arts coverage, a variety of features and a comment section. Since 2004, Palatinate has been freely available and is now distributed to a variety of locations across the main university campus. Queen's Campus in Stockton-on-Tees also receives copies. Each edition is printed in full colour.


  • The first issue of Palatinate was published in 1948.
  • In 1999, Palatinate was named runner-up in the Student Newspaper of the Year category of the Guardian Student Media Awards.[6]
  • For three academic years from 2001 to 2004, Palatinate was published in broadsheet format. In October 2004 it reverted to its current tabloid format.
  • In 2001, Palatinate was named the NUS/Independent Student Newspaper of the Year.[3][4][5]
  • In November 2003, reporter Oliver Brown was runner-up in the Best Student Reporter category of the NUS National Student Media Awards.[7]
  • In January 2004 Palatinate became a free publication. This was achieved by greatly increasing circulation, which drew in more advertising revenue.
  • In October 2004 the paper moved from a broadsheet to tabloid format in changes overseen by Tim Roach and Christopher Lamb.
  • In 2005, under Lamb's editorship, the paper stopped receiving direct funding from Durham Students' Union, causing an increase the amount of advertising needed. The Students' Union still provides Palatinate with office space and computing facilities.
  • In December 2007, a new Palatinate website was launched. The style and function is similar to the websites of The Guardian and The Times national newspapers.
  • In June 2008, content from Palatinate was showcased in the inaugural issue of FS magazine as an example of "the best of student journalism".
  • In November 2008, under the co-editorship of Maz Farookhi and Emily Purser, Palatinate launched Indigo, an arts and features pull-out supplement. The newspaper also upgraded to an unusually thick, sheer white paper type for printing purposes and celebrated its 700th edition.
  • In June 2009, under the editorship of James Thompson, Palatinate launched a new careers section geared towards helping current students navigate the graduate job market. The newspaper also underwent a substantial re-design.
  • In January 2010, under the co-editorship of Liza Miller and Vincent McAviney, Indigo was relaunched, a new sports supplement launched named "The Locker Room", and the main paper was upgraded from tabloid size to Berliner size.
  • In October 2010, under the co-editorship of Ally Bacon and Matt Richardson, PalatinateTV was launched.
  • In March 2013, under the co-editorship of Harriet Line and Florence Snead, a Science and Technology section was launched online and printed in the bumper 750th celebratory edition. Also, Indigo was redesigned by the Indigo editors Robin Marshall and Justina Crabtree, to a three-column format (instead of the traditional five) with a more artistic appearance.
  • In December 2014, under the co-editorship of Christopher Somers and Tom Fenton, Palatinate launched a Profile section. Since December, journalists from Palatinate have interviewed Natalie Bennett, The Ting Tings, David Blunkett, Edwina Currie, Moazzam Begg, Owen Jones, Esther Rantzen and Norman Baker.
  • In November 2015, under the co-editorship of Henry Clare and Josh Smith, the Palatinate website was relaunched to include a slicker, more user friendly interface. Also, the digitalisation every Palatinate issue was arranged.

Past Editors-in-Chief[edit]

Notable former Editors-in-Chief of Palatinate include George Alagiah,[1] Hunter Davies,[8] Piers Merchant, Timothy Laurence,[9] Jeremy Vine,[1] Tim Burt[10] and Harold Evans.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Future of student paper at risk". The Northern Echo. 7 June 2005. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Andrew, Pierce (15 June 2005). "Pressing Problem". The Times. People with Andrew Pierce (UK). Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  3. ^ a b Sargeson, Nikki (20 October 2001). "Student journalists honoured". Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Hodges, Lucy (28 October 2001). "Durham wins award for best student paper". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 28 August 2007. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b Hodges, Lucy (1 November 2001). "Education: Did they have some news for us?". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 28 August 2007. [dead link]
  6. ^ Carvel, John (26 October 1999). "Talent, flair and a new voice". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "York Vision does the double". 25 November 2003. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  8. ^ McGlone, Jackie (20 August 2006). "A life in the day of Hunter Davies". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  9. ^ Qualtrough, Stuart (23 May 1999). "People's Prince Will's may go to Durham University". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  10. ^ Tim Burt today

External links[edit]