SPA Newsletter – September 2017

SPA Newsletter – September 2017

SPA Newsletter – September 2017

With the start of a new semester; an influx of first years arriving on campus ready to be recruited to your ranks; and freshers’ editions hot off the presses, it’s perhaps the busiest month of the year for student journalists.

And September saw a busy few weeks at the SPA too. From yet more regional officer recruitment, lining up supporters for our annual conference #SPANC18, and introducing sponsored posts on the website, your committee have been busy making sure the SPA is fully prepared for the year ahead.

As always, if you’ve got any questions, or have something you’d like to be included in the next newsletter, drop me a line on or tweet/DM @JessicaFKeyes, or get in touch with the rest of the team here.  – JFK

Committee updates

Dan Falvey – Chair

As always, plenty has been going on at SPA HQ over the last month! I’m pleased to say that we have finally updated our membership page of the website, a project we have been working on for the last few months.

You can now take a look at which publications are affiliated with us and even break them down into their regions. If you can’t see your publication listed, feel free to apply for affiliation here.

I’ve also been working with Conor and Megan on our regional conferences (SPARCs), and on opening the bidding process for our national conference next year – #SPANC18. More details will be revealed soon…

Jessica Frank-Keyes – Membership & Communication
This month I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for the very best Freshers’ Week content, for our Freshers’ Guide special edition of Splash Sunday.

I’ve also been working with Conor and the rest of the committee to boost engagement from our Northern member publications with our recruitment process for a new regional officer. Its a crucial role for the SPA, and if you’re interested, hit any of the committee up with your questions.

I’ve also been offering advice to some of our members with issues they’ve been experiencing. Remember we’re always here to help, and no problem is too big or too small!

James Chesson – Digital Media

This month the website has undergone a couple of changes. During this past week I have created a sponsored posts section on the website, which will feature content from companies who support the SPA. The first of these, from online portfolio service Wakelet, is available to read here.

From today you’ll also see an advert from Wakelet appearing on our homepage. More adverts may follow in the future, as our marketing officer Megan is working hard to find great companies to advertise with and support us.

As always, if you have any technical problems, drop me an email at, and I’ll do my best to help.

Megan Baynes – Marketing & Events

It’s been another busy month for marketing and I have a big announcement that I’m thrilled to make.
I have just secured a third big sponsor for #SPANC18. This means we have already raised the same amount of sponsorship for #SPANC18 as was raised for #SPANC17 – and we’ve still got quite a few months to go! Stay tuned for the official announcement of our latest sponsor really soon!

Don’t worry though, I’m not stopping here, because the more sponsors we get, the cheaper the conference can be. We will also be opening up bids for SPANC really soon, so watch this space and hit me up if you have questions.

I’m also pleased that this month will see the first online advert on our website. This is something James and I have been working hard to make a reality because this will being year round revenue to the SPA, which can only benefit our members. But don’t worry, we don’t let just anyone advertise with us – we are working to make sure our adverts remain relevant and useful for you guys.

Conor Matchett – Development

It’s been an encouraging month for development, in terms of creating our training resources for members.
Initial talks with a few companies have begun, but these things take a long time and there is no news to be announced yet. Watch this space!

In other updates, our North regional officer resigned earlier in September, and we are still actively looking for a replacement. Its vital that our members have a local point of contact; a first port of call for any issues they may be experiencing; and a friendly face to keep the regional Facebook page updated.

If you live in the region and are interested, apply here.

Other updates

Don’t forget to also check out this great guest post on the SPA website by our pals at Wakelet – have a read here. And make sure to make a profile so you can be featured on their page of upcoming student writers.

Here’s what they had to say about it: “Having a great portfolio gives you a massive edge when it comes to securing future employment. We’re putting together a list of the top student writers in the UK and Ireland, and helping them share their portfolio with the world.

“To be featured on the list, all you need to do is head over to Wakelet, and create your free portfolio. Once it’s done, just email your profile to, and your portfolio will be uploaded to the list. Great images and good structure tend to attract the most attention!”

This month the SPA is recommending the Longform podcast, a brilliant series looking in-depth at some of the best longform pieces of journalism and writing being published today. Episodes featuring David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, and writer Rachel Kaadhi Ghansah have been particular highlights.

This month we’d like to especially recommend the episode on Hillary Clinton’s recently published book, ‘What Happened’. A fascinating conversation and a real look into the whys, hows, and WTFs of the 2016 US presidential race.

September also saw the publication of research by the organisation Women in Journalism, revealing that: “Across the print press, the average percentage of front page stories written by women in June-July 2017 was 25%, just 2 percentage points above the average in 2012.”

Read the report in full here.

Thanks to trustee Jem Collins for spotting the SPA being mentioned in this article from The Manchester Magazine – winners of our best new publication’ award at #SPANC17.

“After being nominated for several categories in the previous edition of these prestigious awards, TMM ended up taking home the award for the “Best New Publication in U.K. and Ireland” in 2016-17. The panel judges, from outlets such as The Times, Metro and The Scotsman, commented on our “breadth” and “depth” of articles, and our commentary on lending “unique” and “niche perspectives” to local and global affairs.”

Congratulations again guys!

Want to be featured in the next newsletter?

Front page you’re particularly proud of? Your paper’s anniversary? Shiny new redesign? Get in touch with with and we’ll share your news, events and successes with our members across the UK and Ireland.
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