Conservative Diary

« Høyre (Norway) | Main | Communications update »

Ross Cowling: Conservative student publications in the US

Ross_cowling_copy Ross (blog) is a member of the Conservative Party and a recent graduate of the University of Kent. He has just returned from carrying out an internship at The Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia.

I have recently returned from the across the pond where I was interning at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. A large part of my time at LI was spent in their Student Publication Department. This experience opened my eyes to many things that I had not previously thought about, and made me ask myself  “why do we let the left dominate student media in the UK?”

The wave of conservative student publications in the US has emanated out of The Dartmouth Review, which was founded by the likes of Dinesh D’Souza and Ann Coulter. Now, with the help of LI, almost every major college campus in the US has a conservative publication that counters the leftist bias encountered in the mainstream student dailies.

The LI has several full-time Student Publication Coordinators who travel across the country assisting conservative groups in setting up and maintaining a publication. The services they offer range from in depth workshops where students learn the skills they need to manage a publication, to guidance in using design software so they can produce a professional product. Crucially the LI also offers new publications financial assistance to help them get off the ground and get their first issue published.

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Utah and southern California with one of the Student Publication Coordinators to help deliver the training that LI offers. This gave me the chance to see first hand the problems and obstacles conservative students come across when they try to set up their own paper. I was surprised to see that, on the whole, these difficulties are no different from those experienced here in the UK, and that they are possible to overcome.

What British conservative students need to bear in mind is that if they have the determination, they can accomplish a great deal. The LI provides technical assistance and some financial support, but more than anything what they give to their students is motivation. If a group of students see that somebody else has successfully achieved what they are seeking to accomplish, then that is a great way to enthuse them to push ahead. The staff of the Student Publications Department at LI are all former founders and editors of successful conservative campus papers. The experience that they share with the students they are teaching is invaluable.

My experiences in the US have proven to me that the leftist bias in campus newspapers does not need to be taken for granted. If students are fed up with their university’s paper, then they know what they can do; start their own. It is more straightforward than they might think. Unfortunately there are no organisations in the UK at present that give the same kind of assistance as LI does, but with the Young Briton’s Foundation providing other training in political technology, it is only a matter of time before we see the advent of conservative campus publications in this country.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.