The role of Label Magazine and specifically Label Online in this year’s Executive Elections has been a hot topic of discussion within the Students’ Union, as has as our general quest to pursue better and more investigative journalistic practices in a general context.

Some within the union clique are opposed, so it was therefore reassuring and refreshing to receive support from Tim Luckhurst this afternoon, an individual that should be listened to and respected. He is a former editor of Scotland’s daily quality newspaper, The Scotsman, former producer of Radio 4’s Today programme and also edited news output at BBC Scotland; quite a resumé I’m sure you’ll agree.

He advocates student journalism that upholds professional standards, that respects the Press Complaints Commission Code of Conduct, that informs its unique readership but above all, he hails student publications that hold their universities and student unions to account. This cannot be done effectively while that publication is funded by the Union, he says.
Of course, Label does not have editorial independence and is entirely funded by LSU. This year, we have tried to create a relationship where stories in the student interest are published for the good of both parties, but there have been disagreements and there have been stumbling blocks.

Editor-in-Chief, Anie Davis, asked a question to the Head of Media candidates that touched on the matter in Union Hustings. To be perfectly honest, neither came up with an answer that particularly convinced me they had a full understanding of the issue.

In my interview with him before the elections, Vice President for Democracy and Communications, Pete Childs, said he would support the founding of a new, independent student publication.
Undoubtedly, that is where we are heading and an independent student press is something that a large majority of the NUS leadership are calling for; something that was evident in yesterday’s elections press conference in London when my contemporaries from other educational institutions raised the subject.

It may appear that my daily elections blog has diverted off topic. Not so. Label’s editorial situation is such a pivotal cog in Loughborough’s democratic process, in informing the students of the university and ultimately, bettering the student experience, that next year’s Executive’s stance on the matter is crucial, especially the roles of President, VP Democracy and Head of Media.

We have yet to hear definitive answers from those candidates as discussion on our output has merely skirted around the central issue. It will be intriguing to see what they think about the debate that not only affects Loughborough, but the majority of university campuses.

On a side note, I met elections Returning Officer, Ben Ward at NUS HQ yesterday. He praised LSU Media’s coverage of this year’s elections which was really nice to hear.
The credit shouldn’t go to myself, Head of Media Anie Davis, or to Label Online Editor Andrew Lawton, but to all of the great volunteers that have given up their time over the last two weeks for not just Label, but all three media outlets. It really is appreciated, should be applauded and of course, if you have any comments on what you’ve liked or disliked about Label’s elections coverage please do feel free to email me. We cannot improve without your feedback.


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