|Owner(s)||LSE Students' Union|
|Headquarters||Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, London School of Economics, Sheffield Street, London|
|Circulation||1500 in print|
The Beaver has been regarded as among the strongest in UK student media, with some of its stories being picked up by the national press. 1,500 copies are published and distributed around campus every Tuesday as well as online. The Beaver is governed by the Collective, a body of students who have contributed three or more written pieces or photographs to the paper and elects the editorial staff. The paper is made up of sections News, Comment, Features, Innovation, The Union, The NAB and Sport, as well as an arts and culture supplement, PartB.
Named after the school's mascot, the beaver, which was chosen "as representing an industrious animal with social habits", The Beaver newspaper was first published in its recognised format on 5 May 1949, and is one of the oldest student newspapers in the UK. The British Library of Political and Economic Science holds print and digital archives of the paper dating back to this first issue, which was christened by George Bernard Shaw, one of the LSE's founders. Since then it has gone through several makeovers, survived LSE's turbulent history and emerged to be one of the most respected and widely read student newspapers in the UK.
The Beaver's news section has consistently been among the strongest in UK student media, consisting of LSE, University of London and Higher Education stories from across Britain, frequently being quoted in the national press. A recent example concerned the story of the LSE Council having discussed the option of privatisation, which was subsequently reported by a number of national newspapers including The Guardian.
Comment publishes pieces discussing issues that are relevant to the LSE community, political analysis, social commentary, original cartoons, and debate. The extensive range of articles and letters featured reflects the broad readership of the paper. Contributions to the Comment section have been wide-ranging and varied, from former LSE Director Sir Howard Davies to lay students. The name of the section was changed from Opinion to Comment in 2013.
The Features section of the paper deals with international relations, politics and strategic affairs. Interviews were a quintessential part of the section until 2015, and previous interviews conducted by Taryana Odayar have been with Economics Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen; ministers such as Marcelo Neri, the former Brazilian Minister of Strategic Affairs; North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee; Dr Mattia Romani, Managing Director for Country and Sector Economics at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and academics such as German Historian Sonke Neitzel. Other prominent interviewees have been Sir Nicholas Stern and Queen Noor of Jordan, and Aambassadors such as the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK.
Launched in 2005, PartB is The Beaver's arts and culture supplement. It contains sections dedicated to music, film, literature, theatre, fashion, visual arts, food, television and satire. It regularly runs interviews with prominent cultural figures as diverse as Alan Bennett, Gerald Scarfe, M83, Nigel Slater, Stewart Lee, and Nick Heyward of Haircut 100.
Launched in 2015 by former Executive Editor Ellen Wilkie, The Union aims to provide students with an insight into the inner workings and aims of the LSE SU.
Launched in 2016 by then Executive Editor Taryana Odayar, notable interviews have included President of Kiribati HE Anote Tong, Vice President of Panama Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, former Syriza Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, London Bureau Chief of the New York Times Steven Erlanger, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance Dr Ethan Nadelmann, winner of the 2015 Young African Achiever Award James Woods-Nkhutabasa, and Director of LSE IDEAS Dr John Collins.
The Sports section has a mix of match reports from LSE teams and comment on world sports. It has courted controversy in the past with its traditionally dismissive approach to the sporting efforts of rival universities. Highlight of the Year was traditionally the last Sports section before Christmas, containing photos of the Athletic Union Barrel. This caused particular controversy in 2005 after printing a photo of the LSE Director at the event which ended up causing considerable damage to King's Strand campus in December 2005.[clarification needed]
In 2000, The Beaver's James Mythen won Sports Writer of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards.
In 2014, Jon Allsop, with Managing Editor Alexander Fyfe, founded the City section, to engage some of the more business and economics orientated students of the LSE.
In 2017, Angus Watson and Thomas H. Sheriff founded Innovation to replace the City section. It expanded the business, economics and finance topics of the City to include science, technology, environment, and futurology.
Notable former contributors
- Richard Bacon - former Executive Editor; now Conservative Member of Parliament for Norfolk South
- James Corbett - former political editor; now contributing editor of The Observer Sport Monthly and author of Everton: The School of Science and England Expects
- Ekow Eshun - edited both Features and Arts; now the Artistic Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and a contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review
- Simon Gardiner - former AU Treasurer; now prominent philanthropist
- Simon Garfield - former Executive Editor; now journalist and author of Mauve and Our Hidden Lives
- Stephen F. Kelly - contributor, then producer Granada Television, now author and broadcaster
- Paul Klebnikov - former editor; first editor of Forbes' Russian edition
- Bernard Levin - early contributor to the newspaper, particularly of theatre reviews
- John Stathatos - former Executive Editor; photographer, writer and art critic whose publications include The Book of Lost Cities and A Vindication of Tlon: Photography & the Fantastic
- Justin Webb - former editor; former BBC's chief Washington correspondent; now presents the Today programme on BBC Radio 4