2013/14: Politics’ biggest stories reviewed

The 2013/14 academic year has provided a series of stories which ran throughout the year, on-going, changing and developing.

Ukraine correspondent Jon Chapman has covered one of the most fascinating events of the recent years. The developments in Ukraine has had it all, power politics, a bear fighting political leader and the use of Google maps to legitimise the annexation of Crimea. However, this is just one in a series of stories covered by gair rhydd Politics.

Another story, which has been prominent this year, has been the rise of Nigel Farage in the polls. Whilst UKIP’s blunders have been well documented by both the national press and the experts of Twitter, Nigel Farage has been working hard as the best PR man in the country, turning his party of apparent racists, into an ‘electable force’ (although this is still to be confirmed).  The coverage of both European election debates with the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, here, Farage was able to demonstrate a trait he has become known for, repeating the UKIP rhetoric at nausea.  Not only has gair rhydd Politics covered both the autumn statement, where former olitics editor Thom Hollick, chimed in with a minute by minute account of the report, then, in the spring this was matched with a report written by Matt Harding, the current politics editor. These reports produced for the biggest economic events of the year provided detailed accounts of the winners and losers in each instance, providing insight and analysis.

Politics spent the majority of the first term of this academic year studying and reporting on the Syrian crisis, constantly looking for a new angle to approach the topic. This was on going until the Christmas period, where it began to die down. However this is still a situation, which has not received as much coverage as it perhaps, deserves. Despite this, it has certainly been one of the biggest stories of the year.

gair rhydd politics also hasn’t shied away from interviewing some of the politicians representing South Wales. Former politics editor Greg Landon, had regular discussions with the MP for Cardiff Central, Jenny Willott about her constituency, particularly the  issues which are effecting students.

Politics editor, Matt Harding, travelled to Neath to interview Peter Hain, a former Labour cabinet member for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.  The interview was about the European elections, and the direction the Labour Party was heading.

As editor, I’d like to thank anyone and everyone who helped with Politics this year, whether it is in writing, proofreading or even raising your hand for a story and not been picked. You have all helped to make the section as good as it has been this year. As a section we have gone from strength to strength, winning Best Section at the Student Media awards night. As well as this, gair rhydd came second in the Best Student publication in the UK, and again, you have all helped to achieve this.

Matt Harding

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