Brig celebrates 50 years

7 mins read

From major gig reviews to covering some of the biggest issues in student life, Brig, the University of Stirling’s student newspaper is looking back as they celebrate the newspaper’s 50th anniversary.

Founded in 1969 Brig has been reporting on all the issues facing Stirling and its students throughout the years, covering local news and events and discussing some of the major issues of the times.

Brig’s first ever Editor-In-Chief, Paul Martin, spoke about the impact Brig has had on its members, and his feelings seeing the publication he helped establish reaching the 50-year milestone,

“I’ve done many things in life since leaving Stirling, but nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing Brig notch up 50 years. I know it’s been an important seed bed for so many who’ve effortlessly moved into mainstream media having learnt their skills on Brig.  Wishing all current and past staff a very happy birthday indeed.”

Martin spoke about he originally wanted to name the paper Bridge, to bridge the gap between staff, students and the local community but couldn’t due to a publication in Motherwell having the name, so he went with Brig, which was a nod to the historic Stirling bridge.

The first editorial team managed to secure funds through advertising agency Fee Associates and had the papers printed by Johnston’s of Falkirk.

Brig’s current Editor-In-Chief Harry McArthur also commented on the 50th Anniversary of Brig, and the journey that the newspaper has taken over the past 50 years and praised the paper’s writers for their work,

“We’re extremely proud to be overseeing Brig’s 50th year. We’re one of the oldest student newspapers in Scotland and I am proud to say the content is still as excellent now as it was when it was founded by Paul Martin. We have an exciting year ahead and we are going to work as hard as possible to ensure it is a great one.”

In 1969 Brig was a monthly student newspaper and set up a website in the 1990s.  Since 2010 Brig has reduced the number of print editions to four per year, making it a quarterly, and moving most of their regular content online. Brig’s website received over 70,000 visitors in 2018.

The look of the print edition has changed over the years, from the black lettering of the early papers, to the bold blue background, the iconic green of the 90’s, returning to the early look through the 2000’s, and the look has evolved to the iconic title and wallace monument outline on the front page. The sport section however had stayed green, due to the university’s sports teams playing in green.

Brig has been a part of the University of Stirling community since 1969, bringing students in Stirling the latest news stories, sporting successes, and culture reviews for 50 years.  Many former Stirling students entered the world of journalism and media through their time writing for the student newspaper.  

Brig’s range of sections have been providing a variety of content, from news to politics and sport to film, Brig has had it all.

Brig has always had the opportunity to provide excellent sports coverage with Stirling being the University of Sporting Excellence. The Sport Section under the editorial lead of Craig Wright, Harry McArthur, Shannon Scovel and Chris Bond was nominated for best sports coverage at the Student Publication Awards for two years in a row, and kept students updated through their sports show Brig Bleeds Green.

Brig has not only been a part of the campus community, but has been heavily involved in the local community of Stirling. Not only are newspapers distributed to local businesses but the news section frequently cover events and stories off campus and in Stirling.

The news section has also published some major stories in the last 50 years. Reporters and section editors have reported on everything from protests and NUS issues to local crimes. The news section even took a place in reporting international news after they found that Professor Joseph Mifsud, the man who played a role in the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 US Presidential election, was employed by the University of Stirling. Dan Vevers, Warren Hardie and Craig Munro reported on the story as it broke, and Brig continues to cover any updates.

A look through the archives will see Brig’s culture editors giving their view on 50 years of films, music and art. A notable event for the film section was the premiere of Braveheart, which took place at MacRobert Arts Centre on campus, and one Brig photographer managed to get a picture of a surprised looking Mel Gibson, of which the hard copy of the photograph is still in the Media Office.

With students often being political, it is no surprise that Brig has published political content and comment from some of the most turbulent times politics. From Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide, extensive coverage on the student movement’s campaign against tuition fees and now Theresa May, Brig politics has kept everyone in the loop. Right now the politics section are keeping students in the know about Brexit, and the union’s support for a People’s Vote.

Brig will continue to report on issues that matter to students in the community and bring quality content to their readers.  From 1969 to 2019, Brig has been there, and hopefully will be there for another 50.

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Freelance award-winning journalist | Best Journalist SPARC Scotland 2021 | Stirling Uni Class of 2021 | Former Deputy Editor - Brig Newspaper | Bylines in The Scottish Sun, The Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser, The Barrhead News, The (Renfrew and Johnstone) Gazette, Brig Newspaper, The Oban Times, Stirling Today and Tales From Lockdown.

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