Pluto is a student newspaper at the University of Central Lancashire's Students' Union.

It is usually published every fortnight through the academic year, and began in 1985 as the Ribble Echo. The name originally stood for Preston Liberal Undergraduate Tabloid Offering. In recent years, its format has varied from newspaper to a glossy magazine. It is now printed in tabloid format with colour photography.

In 1998, Pluto was awarded Guardian 'Student Newspaper of the Year'.[1][2]

In the 2005/6 academic year, Pluto's Editor, Communications Officer Mark Hudson (now a producer on The Wright Stuff and formerly with The Sun newspaper and the now defunct News of the World, and who appeared on BBC TV show Genius) relaunched the organ as a fortnightly tabloid newspaper with a more upmarket pull-out supplement modelled extensively on The Guardian's G2, edited by Domenico Sanna and James Hoare, the latter now News Editor at extreme metal magazine Terrorizer. Despite mostly new staff, the format was maintained under the elected Communications Officer Nicholas Graham Hodder in the 2006/2007 academic year.

Ironically, Pluto sometimes uses the below Masthead tagline "Furthest From The Sun?", in reference to the British national tabloid format "red top" newspaper. This was ostensibly due to The Sun being previously banned from being sold in the Union Shop (now a Co-Op/Ess general store) because of perceived sexism of topless photography of "page 3 girls".

Nicholas Graham Hodder, the Communications Officer for 2006/7 (and member of Central Lancashire's University Challenge 2007 team), went on to write for PC Utilities magazine. Nicholas Graham Hodder was replaced for 2007/08 by Edward Walker with a team of slightly expanded staff, Walker having previously been the Assistant Editor under both Hudson and Hodder.

The "Furthest From The Sun?" tag line was removed during re-launch in autumn 2007 under Walker with a new layout, improvements in sub-editing and redesigned masthead. Pluto Online was also launched, publishing the newspaper content online and allowing comments.

In 2007 the paper undertook two investigations which gained wider media coverage.

The first published in October 2007 exposed the chairman of the Conservative Future Society at the Students' Union, Fergus Bowman, as the leader of a homophobic Facebook (public) group called 'Homos Burn in Hell'. Bowman was quoted on the group making homophobic comments. The BBC reported Bowman resigned his position and the Mirror reported he had been suspended by the University of Central Lancashire Students' Union.

In December 2007 a three-week long undercover investigation exposed a UCLan masters student Kai Li for running an essay-writing scam across a number of UK universities. The Preston Citizen reported how the student had been charging up to £1,000 for essays and the BBC reported he had been suspended and disciplined by the university.

Deputy News Editor Ricki Dewsbury, now at the Daily Mail, won three awards at the Press Gazette Student Journalism Awards in June 2008, for his work in both stories. Dewsbury was made Student Journalist of the Year, News Writer of the Year and picked up Scoop of the Year for the investigation into the essay-writing scam.

In 2008, the elected 'Communications Officer' role was abolished due to Students' Union governance reforms. To replace it, the role of 'Media Officer' was created to enable the person in this position to concentrate entirely on student media. Elections were held in April 2008 and Andrew Squire was elected as the UCLan Student Union's first Media Officer, replacing Edward Walker. Walker went on to work for Trinity Mirror across its regional newspaper websites after a stint at Media Wales working for WalesOnline.

Completing his year in office during Summer 2009, Andrew Squire was replaced by the newly elected John Crossley.

In 2010/11, John Crossley was replaced by David Stubbings who was Media officer in the 2011/12 academic year. David Stubbings is now a reporter at the Surrey Advertiser and GetSurrey website.

In 2012/13, David Stubbings was replaced by Sophie Bennett.


External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Pluto (newspaper), that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Peter James Search for "Pluto (newspaper)" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Pluto (newspaper)"

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