Stop the press: student publication on verge of closure

Student publication ‘The University Paper’ is reportedly in the midst of severe financial difficulties just seven months after its introduction to Cardiff.

In August, the organisation announced plans to roll out locally focused newspapers at sixteen cities across the UK.

The Welsh capital’s edition focused on news and lifestyle issues affecting students at Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales.

The publication, which was founded two years ago by Nottingham Trent University student, Chris Moss, had hoped to raise its monthly circulation to 1.2 million nationally.

This was to be achieved through a collaboration with Simian Publishing, the institution behind ‘Loaded’ magazine.

Following the initial roll-out, there were reports that ambitious plans had been put in place to expand the publication to feature a further fourteen cities by January of this year.

However, it has now emerged that the publication is struggling under the financial burden of its sudden expansion – and is now likely to cease all local publishing.

Editor of the Cardiff edition of the University Paper, Jade Attwood, told Gair Rhydd that she first became aware of the problem through a social media group set up by her colleagues nationwide.

“I thought my problem was pretty isolated but then I found out it was a country-wide issue with all of us receiving the same mistreatment,” she said.

She added: “To be honest contact with head office was shoddy throughout my time with them so finding the motivation to continue with the paper was becoming difficult.”

The Cardiff-branch of the newspaper had suffered a series of staff resignations following a difficult bedding-in period for the organisation.

“The first few months were pretty difficult,” one former employee told Gair Rhydd.

“I don’t think the physical copies of the first few issues were delivered beyond one or two locations and my work was often attributed to someone else who worked for the organisation in a different city.”

“Quite a lot of my content was heavily reworded to fit the tabloid agenda, whilst some of the images didn’t fit the stories at all.”

Matters had reportedly improved in recent weeks, with content correctly attributed and issues appearing at multiple pick-up points across the city.

However, the paper is now reportedly set to end publishing locally.

“It is a shame as I loved doing the work and I think the concept was there but the execution was just poor,” Attwood said.

“It was embarrassing having to relay it all to my editors but they were very understanding.”

We reached out to the national editor of The University Paper for comment but did not receive a reply.