Over the years, The Sphinx newspaper has been home to a multitude of talented students from a variety of academic backgrounds. Behind the scenes, our teams have put their heart and soul into running the paper, welcoming a diverse readership, and eventually evolving to an online platform. Student media has gradually increased its presence on campus, and The Sphinx could not have been a part of this without its readers, writers, editors, and committees, both past and present. As the official student newspaper for the University of Liverpool, The Sphinx have rebranded, reformed, and expanded to become the well-oiled machine it is today. The Sphinx are proud to publish their 1000th article, and want to take a look back and celebrate with you all.
Established in 1893, The Sphinx is one of the UK’s oldest student newspapers.
One of the founding reasons for creating the University Guild was ‘for the provision of magazines and periodicals and the promotion of good fellowship among the students’, and so the University Newspaper was born in 1893. The Sphinx, known for its mythical links with knowledge, became the symbol title of the newspaper, and is also now the name of the Guild bar.
The Sphinx was published frequently throughout the 20th century (at least once a month). Older copies of The Sphinx can be found in the University Sydney Jones Library, in the special collections and archives area. Many of the articles in the early papers were centred around the concept of female students, which was clearly a controversial subject at the time. However, in 1914, the first female editor was elected, and the content of the newspaper changed, examining topics such as women’s hockey.
In 2007, due to the rising costs of publication and a decline in advertising revenue, The Sphinx was unfortunately closed down, with the publications stopping in May that year.
The Sphinx was subsequently replaced with LSMedia, which combined the newspaper and student radio under one umbrella. During this time, Liverpool Student Media entered the online world of journalism, and in 2011 was shortlisted for a Guardian Student Media award, under the category “Website of the Year”. A small number of publications were made, however, due to a lack of support and funding, LSMedia folded.
In 2015, The Sphinx was re-established by Matthew Jaffa and Natasha Kondrashova. The Sphinx was re-branded separately from the student radio – LSRadio, and magazine Ellipsis, who are now successfully running as separate entities. The paper was awarded Liverpool Guild Media Society of the year 2015/16.
For the Academic year 2016/17, Kelly Barnett and Tom Marchant took over as Editor-in-chiefs, and were rewarded for their hard work with the ‘Biggest Impact on University Community‘ award at the annual Guild awards.
The Sphinx also achieved some major journalistic milestones, including securing an interview with the famous University of Liverpool Alumni, Channel 4’s Jon Snow, in May 2017. Benedict Spence’s interview reached over 7.K readers, and discussed Brexit, Trump, and Snow’s student days in Liverpool.
“During my time both being a member of and running the society last year, I saw the Sphinx grow into what it is today, a thriving student newspaper at the heart of Uni life. It has been a privilege to be part of it for three years and see it grow, and I hope to see another 1000 amazing articles in the future” – Tom Marchant, President/Editor in Chief (2016/17)
“Getting involved with your student newspaper is a unique experience that I would 100% recommend. From sharpening your communication, to investigative work, and even selling advertising, few student groups offer such diverse ways to build skills and network.We came up against a number of challenges trying to resurrect The Sphinx, confined as we were to an online presence. But, thanks to three successive teams committed to student journalism, the future is looking up.” Kelly Barnett, President/Editor in Chief (2016/17)
The Sphinx is run by a team of student volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that content output is regular, vibrant and independent. This team is made up of 15 editors and assistant editors, and 10 members of a committee, who ensure that The Sphinx becomes a more recognisable name on campus. Our desire is to ensure quality, relevant coverage regarding the University of Liverpool, and news that is important to students. It is a welcoming community which encourages diversity and development in journalistic skill and confidence for all interested in a future in Journalism, or simply a passion for writing.
The Sphinx currently consists of eight sections: News, Arts & Culture, Music, Sport, Science, Fashion, Opinion and Food & Drink.
Within our weekly content, The Sphinx are proud to welcome a diverse range of writers and readership on campus. We also collaborate with other societies and organisations, on campus and the surrounding area, and inform our readers regarding any news or events which spotlight students, the University of Liverpool, and Merseyside in general.
Within the last two years, The Sphinx has grown into a well established newspaper, recently surpassing 1,500 likes on its Facebook page, and expanding its following on Twitter and Instagram. We are also working closely with fellow media societies LSRadio and Ellipsis to ensure that student media becomes an ever-growing presence on campus.
The Sphinx has since set up an alumni page on Facebook, welcoming past writers, editors, and committee members, to share their experiences and achievements after being part of the society.
As the current Presidents/Editors in Chief for The Sphinx, we are extremely grateful to be part of such an amazing student media team and publication. Since the re-branding in 2015, we are the first members to have been part of the society for three consistent years, and have had the privilege of watching the newspaper evolve to become the success it is today. With the insightful guidance of our previous presidents, we are confident that we can keep this momentum going, and help The Sphinx’s presence grow further on campus and on social media. We are extremely proud of our current editors and committee, who’s hard work constantly encourages and supports our writers, and make this role all the more rewarding – We would like to graciously thank our readers and writers for their support and enhancing our student experience. Here’s to another successful year!
– Jess Molyneux & Heather Fallon, Presidents/Editors in Chief (2017/18)
Want to become a member of the Sphinx? Visit: www.thesphinx.co.uk/get-involved/
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