Palatinate (newspaper)

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

Palatinate is the official student newspaper of Durham University and one of Britain's oldest student publications, having published its first edition on 17 March 1948[1] and celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2018.[2][3] The newspaper was named Best Publication in the Student Publication Association's 2018 national awards. In the same year Palatinate was Highly Commended in the Best Publication category of the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme's Student Journalism Awards. It was NUS/Independent Student Newspaper of the Year in 2001, and Best Publication (North) in the Student Publication Association's 2017 and 2018 Regional Awards.[4][5][6]

Palatinate Issue 757 5 Dec 2013.png
Front page from 5 December 2013
TypeFortnightly newspaper
Owner(s)Durham Students' Union
PublisherDurham Students' Union
EditorTash Mosheim and Tim Sigsworth
Founded17 March 1948; 72 years ago (1948-03-17)
HeadquartersDunelm House, Durham

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-in-chief are elected on a per-term basis. The paper reports news about Durham University, its sporting activities and individuals connected with the university, plus arts coverage, and a variety of features and a comment section. It has been freely available since 2004, as Durham Students Union pays for the publication of Palatinate, and it is distributed to locations around the main university campus.[citation needed] From 2007, the publication has been made available online.[citation needed] Queen's Campus in Stockton-on-Tees also receives copies. Each edition is also printed in full colour.


The first issue of the student newspaper was published on 17 March 1948. Although the paper was initially designed to "bridge the gap" between the Newcastle and Durham divisions of the University[7] poor sales in the Newcastle college led to the paper refocussing as a Durham-only publication after just three issues.[8] Several of the Newcastle students involved in establishing Palatinate went on to set up their own paper for Newcastle students, King's Courier.

In 1999, Palatinate was named runner-up in the Student Newspaper of the Year category of the Guardian Student Media Awards.[9]

From 2001 through 2004, Palatinate was published in broadsheet format, before reverting to tabloid format.

In 2001, Palatinate was named the NUS/The Independent Student Newspaper of the Year.[4][5][6] In 2003, reporter Oliver Brown was runner-up for the Best Student Reporter category of the NUS National Student Media Awards.[10]

In January 2004, Palatinate became a free publication, funded by greater advertising revenue aided by a greatly increased circulation.

In 2005, the paper stopped receiving direct funding from the Students' Union, resulting in an increase of advertising needed. The Students' Union, however, still provides Palatinate with office space and computing facilities.

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 of the same year, Palatinate launched Indigo, an arts and features pull-out supplement, and celebrated its 700th edition.

In June 2009, under the editorship of James Thompson, Palatinate launched a new Careers section. In January 2010, a new sports supplement titled The Locker Room was launched, and the main paper was changed from tabloid to Berliner size. Later, in October, online video channel Palatinate TV was launched.

Later, in March 2013, a Science and Technology section was launched online and printed in the bumper 750th Celebratory Edition. In 2014, Palatinate launched a Profile section. Since December 2014, journalists from the newspaper have interviewed people such as Natalie Bennett, The Ting Tings, David Blunkett, Edwina Currie, Moazzam Begg, Owen Jones, Esther Rantzen and Norman Baker.

In November 2015, issues began to be digitised on the Palatinate website. In 2017, the newspaper celebrated its 800th edition, with guest columns by former editors Sir Harold Evans, Hunter Davies and Jeremy Vine, along with an interview with George Alagiah. 2017, under the editorship of Adam Cunnane and Eugene Smith, saw the paper receiving its first award in 16 years, winning 'Best Publication (North)' at the 2017 Student Publication Association Regional Awards.

Palatinate celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2018. In April that year, under the editorship of Sophie Gregory and Cameron McIntosh, Palatinate won Best Publication at the Student Publication Association Awards. Two members of the editorial board also took home the award for Best Reporter (Tania Chakraborti) and Highly Commended for Best Reporter (Eugene Smith).

Under editors Cameron McIntosh and Julia Atherley, Palatinate was highly commended in the Best Publication category of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme's Student Journalism Awards 2018. In November 2018, the newspaper also won two regional awards (North) hosted by the Student Publication Association including 'Best Publication' and 'Best Journalist' (Cameron McIntosh).

In March 2020 the Palatinate Podcast was launched by Editor-in-Chief Jack Taylor, with its first episode featuring the organisers of the Durham University Charity Fashion Show.[11]

In September 2020, citing the impact of COVID-19, Durham Students' Union suspended its funding for Palatinate's print edition for both Michaelmas and Epiphany terms of the 2020/21 academic year. Editors-in-Chief Imogen Usherwood and Tash Mosheim launched a fundraising appeal which provided the means to fund print for Michaelmas term in full and Epiphany in part.[12][13][14][15] In November, Palatinate's website was redesigned for the first time since its creation.

Notable Editors-in-ChiefEdit

Notable former Editors-in-Chief of Palatinate include Harold Evans,[2] Hunter Davies,[16] Piers Merchant, Judith Hann,[17] Timothy Laurence,[18] George Alagiah,[2] Jeremy Vine,[2][19] John Exelby[20] and Christopher Lamb.[2]


  1. ^ "Palatinate". Special Collections. Durham University. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Future of student paper at risk". The Northern Echo. 7 June 2005. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  3. ^ Andrew, Pierce (15 June 2005). "Pressing Problem". The Times. People with Andrew Pierce. UK. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b Sargeson, Nikki (20 October 2001). "Student journalists honoured". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  5. ^ a b Hodges, Lucy (28 October 2001). "Durham wins award for best student paper". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 28 August 2007.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Hodges, Lucy (1 November 2001). "Education: Did they have some news for us?". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 28 August 2007.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Editorial". Palatinate. 17 March 1948. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Editorial". Palatinate. 22 June 1948. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  9. ^ Carvel, John (26 October 1999). "Talent, flair and a new voice". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  10. ^ "York Vision does the double". 25 November 2003. Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  11. ^
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  13. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ McGlone, Jackie (20 August 2006). "A life in the day of Hunter Davies". Scotland on Sunday. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  17. ^ Administrator, journallive (24 June 2009). "Durham University honorary degree for Judith Hann". journallive. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  18. ^ Qualtrough, Stuart (23 May 1999). "People's Prince Will's may go to Durham University". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  19. ^ Interview in which Vine's time at Palatinate is remembered[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "John Exelby Obituary". The Times. 14 December 2019. p. 93. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  21. ^ O'Conor, Lottie (19 March 2014). "10 minutes with: News editor Cristina Nicolotti Squires". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Sale, Jonathan (23 October 2011). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of broadcaster Jeremy Vine". The Independent. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Issue 33". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Journalist Sir Harold Evans gives lecture". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  25. ^ Evans, Harold (2009). My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times. Hachette. ISBN 9780316092074. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Issue 29". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  27. ^ "Issue 27". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Issue 21". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  29. ^ "Issue 17". Retrieved 12 October 2015.

External linksEdit