The Epinal is Loughborough University’s independent online student newspaper, the only such publication on campus not affiliated to the Students’ Union, University or a hall of residence. It was launched in August 2012 and won the first national journalism award for a Loughborough publication since 1981. The Epinal is run by students and for the students of Loughborough University.
Why The Epinal was founded:
We believe passionately in pursuing professional journalistic practices and holding power to account. Under the leadership of Jago Pearson as Editor and Andrew Lawton as Online Editor, Label in 2011/12 tried to push the boundaries of editorial constraint and achieved a degree of success in publishing news in the student interest. During that time, Label broke the module feedback story which led to a headline slot on BBC East Midlands Today, carried out an investigation into Imago Services and the student accommodation chaos that caused havoc for hundreds of freshers, while it was Pearson that broke the news that, in theory, the entire set of Executive Elections in 2011 were illegitimate and unconstitutional.
Despite these successes, it became evident that something had to change. Some news and comment that shone a negative light on the Students’ Union was censored and while sabbatical officers muted in private about granting Label editorial independence, the threat of funding withdrawal would always hang over contentious editorial decisions. For all involved, a new publication with editorial and financial autonomy was the answer, and so The Epinal was launched in August 2012.
The mission of The Epinal is simple; to provide factually correct and informed news, in the public interest, for the students of Loughborough University, while also offering comprehensive sport coverage and intuitive comment on issues from campus and further afield.
Jago Pearson was the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Epinal. He held this post from the publication’s launch in August 2012 until May 2013, when a new editorial team was appointed. He remains a fifty percent shareholder and Director of The Epinal Limited, the company that was established to facilitate an independent news outlet on Loughborough’s campus.
A former Editor of Label Magazine, he studied History and Politics at Loughborough University between 2010 and 2013. During his time at Label Magazine he received ‘Special Commendation’ as NUS Student Journalist of the Year 2012. Before his Label editorship, he was Head of News and Sport at Loughborough Campus Radio and went onto be Assistant Head of Loughborough Students’ Media, the umbrella organisation for which incorporates Label, LCR and LSUTV.
During his time leading The Epinal, the publication was named UK Student Publication of the Month for November 2012 and he received the award for Outstanding Contribution to a Student Publication from the editors of The National Student newspaper, alongside Andrew Lawton.
Having previously worked at The Kentish Gazette, The Taxpayers’ Alliance, No to AV campaign and Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, he starts work as a political consultant for Media Intelligence Partners in July 2013. He will work alongside a former Conservative Party Director of Communications and Downing Street Press Secretary in delivering public relations and public affairs services in Westminster.
Jago’s media accreditations include BBC Radio 4, BBC Inside Out, BBC East Midlands Today and BBC Radio Leicester where he has provided comment on behalf of The Epinal, The Taxpayers’ Alliance and Label Magazine.
Andrew Lawton was the founding Editor of The Epinal. He held this post from the publication’s launch in August 2012 until May 2013, when a new editorial team was appointed. He remains a fifty percent shareholder and Director of The Epinal Limited, the company that was established to facilitate an independent news outlet on Loughborough’s campus.
A former Online Editor of Label Magazine, he studied Sport Science and Mathematics at Loughborough University from 2010 until 2013. In his time at Label Magazine, he received the Loughborough Students’ Media Multimedia Achievement Award.
During his time as Editor of The Epinal, the publication was named UK Student Publication of the Month for November 2012 and he received the award for Outstanding Contribution to a Student Publication from the editors of The National Student newspaper, alongside Jago Pearson.
Having worked as a production assistant at the London Olympic Games, on the Sports Desk at The Guardian and freelanced at BBC Radio Leicester, Andrew is now pursuing a career in professional journalism.
The Epinal was named UK Student Publication of the Month for November 2012 by ‘Ones to Watch’. Daily Mail journalist, Rosie Taylor, commented: “As a start-up publication, The Epinal is well-designed and a great idea. It has gone from nothing to being a major fixture of the UK’s student press in a few short months.”
Jago Pearson and Andrew Lawton received the SPA Award for Outstanding Contribution to a Student Publication in 2013. It was awarded by the Editors of The National Student newspaper.