Student newspaper describes publication gag as ‘shameful’

THE UK’s oldest student newspaper has used its current edition to condemn a legal move that prevented the publication of a previous edition, two weeks ago.

Under the heading, “Shameful’, The Student newspaper – for Edinburgh University students – was unable to distribute its 4,000 copies two weeks ago because of an interim interdict issued by the Court of Session following a move by the newspaper’s funders, the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA).

The legal move followed the paper’s plans to report more details surrounding the suspension of an EUSA officer last year.

The story – which appeared in today’s Herald and previously on the website of the independent Edinburgh newspaper for students, The Journal – has been picked up today by, among others, The Huffington Post.

The front page of the current edition of The Student is bylined ‘by the news editors’. A sub-heading reads: ‘In bid to safeguard “excellent reputation” EUSA gags The Student’.

The opening paragraph begins: “On Tuesday, 22nd January 2013, The Student newspaper was censored by Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA).”

The story continues: “The Student was served with an interim interdict that prevented it from publishing the first issue of the term, which contained an article that EUSA believed would have been damaging to its reputation.”

In The Herald, education correspondent, Andrew Denholm, quotes the EUSA president, James McAsh, as saying: “Although we are a democratic organisation, there are certain legal obligations that we are required to adhere to.”

The Student was founded by Scottish novelist, Robert Louis Stevenson, in 1887. Previous editors have included former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and former Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook.

Says a leader comment in The Student: “It deeply saddens us that EUSA would rather spend valuable time and money on suppressing the voice of the students and stifling the freedom of the Press than allowing information which we are convinced every student has the right to know.”