Cherwell vs. OxStu

This may cause a stir. There may be fights on the street. But I have to give my hot take.

Clash of the Titians: OxStu vs. Cherwell

There are of course other newspapers in Oxford but none that quite have the star power of these two.

I've worked for both now and when the time came to apply for another round of editorial jobs I really didn't fancy going back to the Cherwell. I'd been a deputy section editor for stage and it wasn't all that fun. The group chat was frosty and cold and there was no friendly help or banter. There was also very little communication with everyone always wanting to pass the buck. I found it more of a place for the student journos to personally get ahead than to work together towards producing a paper.

The Oxford Student on the other hand was a lot more fun. The group chat was bathed in warm, sunny light. Jokes were cracked and I could ask for help and not feel embarrassed. It felt much more like a joint enterprise and I learnt more skills like laying in the paper on InDesign (it still haunts my nightmares). Cherwell had never offered that, instead we watched out section editor do it via Zoom. It was tremendously boring and didn't enlighten me much on how to use the actual software.

I also generally feel that the Cherwell comes across as a bit less fun. I think its the colour scheme. The marron doesn't spark joy whereas the OxStu is all blue and colour inside which I genuinely prefer (although I realised as an EIC I'm a little biased).

Having said that the Cherwell is part of the OSPL  and so there are lots of publishing and journalism opportunities through their umbrella organisation. I completed a summer internship designing merchandise for all the publications under them and really enjoyed it. There were even talks form journalists and publishing houses, something I wouldn't have had access to through the OxStu, and something I found very valuable.

That's not to say, however, that the OxStu never provides any talks, last year Laura Kuenssberg came to an online event, but I would generally say the opportunities and guest speakers are a bit more ad hoc.

I have found working for both papers really useful and eye opening and not everyone feels the same as me. Some people spend their whole student journalist careers at Cherwell and love it. I, alas have not been one of them. Instead, I take part in the fierce rivalry of getting a news piece out first or overtaking their article views. I would definitely recommend trying your hand at more than one publication in Oxford, otherwise you'll never know which one, if any, are right for you and it's a fun experience even if you only casually contribute one article throughout your whole degree!


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