Eton’s pupil publications range from the historic Chronicle to more recent online offerings like Etonomics, and have seen a new kid on the block emerge in the form of The Speaker, the new online politics journal in collaboration with Holyport College.
Set up by two year 12 pupils, Ivan A and Oli A, it aims to encourage debate among a politically active group of students with an interest in current affairs. The Speaker is produced in partnership with Holyport College, a neighbouring partner school, with pupils from both schools writing articles and and co-editing the final result. Officer Oscar L caught up with the editors-in-chief to hear about their motivations and plans for the future.
The publication is exclusively online for now, at the-speaker.uk, and features regular blogs on news from Westminster, and all around the world. Ivan A, founder and editor, who hopes to study HSPS (Human, Social, and Political Science) at university, says “I am particularly proud of the segments on the website. They’re what I find most exciting, from our recent interview with the Provost, who told us about his career in the Thatcher government and even meeting Chairman Mao, to more satirical pieces. We felt strongly that pupils should have a platform to get involved and share their views.”
Oli A concurs, saying he is particularly pleased with the interviews, as “having an area of the magazine dedicated to learning from people at the heart of politics is very exciting, and will hopefully continue to grow as the magazine gets continues.”
With support by Dr Purshouse (LJP), and working closely with Holyport’s politics teachers, The Speaker’s first articles explore the politics of the Eurovision Song Contest and answer to a fundamental questions, ‘what is freedom?’.
Oli told me “politics is all around us and dictates so many aspects of our lives, but it can be confusing .I would argue the main way politics progresses is by healthy debate and exposure to a variety of ideas, something we are trying to encourage through the magazine.”
On the future plans for the magazine, Ivan hopes it will long outlast his time at Eton. “We wanted to create the next great Eton magazine and make it a sustainable model, opening it up to younger years too. It’s in a unique position of being able to mix satire with rigorously researched academic ideas and speedy news bulletins.”
You can read segments like ‘ORDER!’, a bite-sized rundown of the week’s affairs, ‘Concept Corner’ written by teachers, and the much anticipated satirical ‘Anarchist Aunt’ by resident devil’s advocate Angus W-G online.
With thanks to LJP and the whole team at The Speaker.