National Student Publication Awards 2023, Glasgow.
In the last year, SCAN Sport has grown from strength to strength, covering over 40 different sports, including Fencing, Snooker, and Canoe Polo. Reporting at Roses, which is renowned as one of the biggest varsities in the UK, SCAN also produced its first 32-page Roses Special Issue, scrapping the original format for a new look.
Upon official release, this print edition was sold out within two days. To view the Roses Special, please follow the link here.
Featuring Roses versus sports film reviews, lifestyle articles discussing Roses boot camp drinking bans as well as the Roses Are Red Creative Writing Competition, this Roses Special was one of a kind. Every article was accompanied by original photography taken by SCAN reporters as well as exclusive interviews with competing athletes.
Alongside its unique content, SCAN went to great lengths to ensure niche sports were covered. This included writing match reports for Underwater Hockey which didn’t go ahead at Roses but had recently competed against York in BUCS, Equestrian and Golf which are never based on campus, as well as Snow Sports. Throughout Roses, SCAN reporters were thanked by student-athletes for covering these events, especially since for some this was their first and last Roses due to the disruption of the Pandemic.
As well as match reports, SCAN also had some fantastic new articles in the Roses Special including a report on the LU Muslim student varsity boycott and an exclusive on the Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) focus sports review.
Last year, Roses Weekend was held on the last weekend of Ramadan, ending the night before Eid. This meant that most Muslim students weren’t able to either train or compete in Roses since they were fasting. Having noticed the clash weeks in advance, SCAN reached out to Lancaster University Isoc to gather student opinions. This was met with praise for addressing the impact this clash would have on the LU Muslim community and giving them a voice.
This article featured on the front page of the Roses Special, and during open days it was asked not to be displayed since the headline read, ‘ Lancaster And Inclusive In The Same Sentence? Muslim Students Boycott Varsity During Ramadan’, which SCAN successfully contested.
SCAN’s exclusive coverage on funding cuts for clubs that fail to remain ‘focus sports’ was met with similar praise, since it had yet to be made public knowledge. This became apparent after SCAN approached the current focus sport teams who hadn’t heard about the review or that funding cuts were on the cards. After a LUSU statement revealed that applications for next year’s focus sports would be open to all sports teams, SCAN reached out to over 30 teams to spread awareness of the key criteria.
An additional feature of the Roses Special was interactive columns, including bingo, quizzes, and bucket lists in hopes of simulating a sports event brochure. Despite the Roses Special being released after the event, having these interactive columns that students could fill in, making the issue feel more sentimental.
Although Roses is a major highlight, there has also been a wide range of sports coverage in and around Lancaster University throughout the year. In early March, Lancaster was hit by storms Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin which resulted in several dugouts at Lancaster City Football Club being destroyed. This is the local club that the university and students often attend matches. In support of a fundraising appeal organised by the club’s commercial director, SCAN reported on the situation, sharing this appeal with the LU student community.
Similarly, earlier this term, SCAN reported on the Performing Arts Showcase which included a mini Strictly Come Dancing organised by the Ballroom Dancing Society, with help from several others. This event raised over £500 for Morecambe Bay Foodbank.
National Student Publication Awards 2023, Glasgow.
For the last year, SCAN has continued to evolve its unique newspaper design, producing some impressive spreads in its recent issues. SCAN’s design is a creative blend of scrapbook and newspaper with fun pop-out images, original illustrations by an all-new team of in-house illustrators, quizzes, puzzles and column features amongst news, comment, sport, arts & culture, lifestyle, screen, music and creative writing articles. This complete creative overhaul of existing design was the product of intense market research into student demographic engagement with newspapers as we wanted a student newspaper that met three key criteria:
a) accessible for students of a generation used to scrolling and skimming,
b) innovative design that refreshed the previous image of SCAN deemed ‘outdated’ and ‘too dull’ by student surveys,
and c) retained the traditions of newspaper design that gave birth to student newspapers in the first place.
Our dedicated design team, headed by Associate Editor and Design Manager Elizabeth Train-Brown, collated a range of over fifty inspiration materials (including student newspapers, national and regional newspapers, magazines, and tabloids), trialled various digital design programmes, and tested layouts against student focus groups. The final result was one which had proven to engage the student populace, moving away from the trend of some other student newspapers that too strongly emulate non-student publications in an attempt to appear professional. This often had the opposite effect and disengaged student readers who found it inaccessible or not marketed towards their demographic.
Standing out from the student publication sphere, SCAN’s front page is fresh and vibrant, featuring breaking news, article highlights, notable contributor headshots, and customised banners. Marketing and design research found that the human eye is most attracted to graphics that feature people, photos, and font-differentiated text compared to walls of text exceeding half a page and/or too high-quality or glossy photos (which it auto-registers as adverts). We chose to feature original photography both to meet this research and to showcase student work, including original illustrations. Students at both Lancaster University and York (who visited during Roses) noted how modern the newspaper design was compared to others they’d seen, as well how accessible and engaging it was for students.
SCAN begins with ‘Uni News At A Glance’, a quick news section on the inside cover. This feature has been designed to fit four micro articles of max. 100 words each covering locals events, opportunities, and student calendar highlights. Some of the most common feedback from students surveyed around the country is that they ‘don’t have time’ to read newspapers. After trialling this feature, SCAN can report an overwhelmingly positive reception, with many students feeding back that reading these short news snippets encouraged them to continue with the issue and increased overall traction time.
Designed in Adobe InDesign, every page is individually conceptualised to guarantee a variety of unique spreads. Although there is a running aesthetic, each section has its own flair because we understand students reading each section engage with the design in different ways. Given that Screen is predominately film reviews, it includes more images so is more column-heavy, dividing the page vertically. Reducing this negative cognitive response to walls of text, images are formatted to separate chunks of text and buffer, making it more accessible and visually engaging for student readers. Lifestyle, on the other hand, has a cosier vibe, with sunset tones and Pinterest-insipred mindmaps. Incorporating interactive recipe coloumns and bold subheadings, Lifestyle has been designed for easy coffee table reading. Moreover, for News we have worked to strike a balance between accessible, innovative, and tradition by implementing much bigger photos, contrast quotations/stats (bold font, section colours to contrast body text), and headlines that differentiate font for keywords to draw the eye.
Each term, SCAN hosts a Creative Writing Competition. The winning entries are printed and accompanied by a selection of original illustrations drawn by student artists. SCAN currently has a resident artist who has produced artwork for the last three issues. These illustrations are drawn in real time, with the artist receiving the winning entries to then decide on an artistic interpretation for each entry. As well as original illustrations, the Creative Writing section is inspired by classic manuscripts, including drop-caps in section colours. Although this is a small detail, it gives the section a literary journal aesthetic, emblematic of the industry trademarks.
Our market research measured everything from average read time (traction) to organic shares (passing the paper onto someone else, pinning a page in their room, sharing a photo on social media) to copies taken. In this, we found that one of the most effective ways of improving the rate at which students pick up copies of SCAN at the same time as improving organic shares was to make the back page something to hold onto. Previously, as is typically done in both student and non-student publications, SCAN’s back page had been Sports. We found on our first trial in February 2022 (not included in this submission) that replacing the Sports page with photos and student voxpop quotations improved this considerably. So, on the next issue (Roses) we trialled just photos and a central original illustration; in the issue after this (Freshers), we trialled just student engagement with a photo-less ‘Freshers Bucket List’. Overall, the Roses photos back page improved both pick-ups and organic shares, however was determinedly limited to shares by the students featured in the photos. However, the Freshers Bucket List generated significant social media engagement, organic shares, and pick-ups.
Lancaster University Student Media Awards 2022, nominated three times.
Lancaster University Student Media Awards 2022, for the senior editorial development team.
Lancaster University Student Media Awards 2022, for the senior editorial news team.
National Student Publication Association Awards 2022, the senior editorial team nominated by SCAN Newspaper.
SCAN: Student Comment and News is the official newspaper of Lancaster University and LUSU. SCAN covers News, Comment, and Sport alongside Arts & Culture, Lifestyle, Music, Screen, and Creative Writing. This year the main objective has been to evolve SCAN. As a student publication, it’s important to move with the times and remain relevant. That is exactly what we have done through our content, newspaper design, social media, and outreach.
"SCAN is at the very heart of the Lancaster University community and its coverage reflects the diverse and vibrant life we have here. They can often ask really tough questions of the University, and the Union, as I know myself, and I wouldn't want it any other way. They contribute a massive amount to student life here at Lancaster and they deserve recognition for the fabulous job they do."
– Misbah Ashraf, Chief Executive of Lancaster University Students' Union
What has SCAN achieved this year?
• Print Issues & Digital Issues,
• NEW Creative Writing Section,
• NEW Creative Writing Competitions,
• NEW Travel Column,
• Black History Month Content,
• Multi-Media Platforms,
• Rebranding all SCAN Media,
• Culture shift from The Tab to SCAN,
• NEW Merchandise,
• 400% Increase in Social Media Engagement,
• Renewed Focus on Lancaster-Based News & Comment,
• Society Spotlight Articles,
• Student Media Summit,
• NEW SCAN Socials & Collaborative
• NEW Student Illustrators & Photographers, Events
This year, SCAN wanted to work on the publication’s image, making sure people knew who we were at events and increasing the presence of SCAN on campus. Most societies have their own merchandise to promote themselves so the Editor-in-Chief (Tabi Lambie) designed our own. This included SCAN t-shirts and SCAN tote bags made out of recycled plastic water bottles.
NEW Creative Writing Section & Creative Writing Competitions:
At the start of the year, the Editor-in-Chief (Tabi Lambie) felt that SCAN didn’t particularly cater to creative subjects. So, they introduced the Creative Writing Section for those interested in interviews with creative writers, forgotten creative forms, student opportunities in publishing, and most importantly, creative writing competitions. SCAN has now run two creative writing competitions, a Prose and Poetry competition, and a Poetry Showdown. Both competitions were a great success and were well received by students wanting to have their work published in SCAN. When publishing the Creative Writing competition results in both issues this year, they have been accompanied by original artwork drawn by our student illustrators.
Since the start of this year, SCAN’s social media has seen tremendous improvements. On Instagram, SCAN’s following has risen from 1000 to over 2500 and the average likes has increased from 10 to 109 - at time of writing. That is a 400% increase in engagement. This is primarily due to improvements in graphics as well as the renewed focus on campus news and local stories. SCAN also has a presence on both Twitter and Tiktok.
NEW Newspaper Design:
Since returning to print this year, SCAN has spent a fair few hours improving the newspaper design, especially the front cover. SCAN began the year using an outdated template from over two years ago. This template made SCAN look more like a magazine than a newspaper with the front page completely dominated by photography. The template the Editor-in-Chief (Tabi Lambie) and Associates (Elizabeth Train-Brown & Jonathan Robb) made this year – with Elizabeth Train-Brown taking the Adobe design lead - takes inspiration from a variety of student publications and media outlets. The team altered the logo to act as a banner and changed the layout to open with a news story alongside article highlights and the most notable contributors. This design is far more eye-catching, informative, and student orientated.
Left: Issue One Front Cover Right: Issue Two Front Cover
SCAN has also looked at additional features, particularly on the contents page which now features ‘Uni News at a Glance’ alongside the editor’s letter and a contents table. As well as the front cover and contents page, SCAN has also updated page formats through the use of column articles and typography. Additionally, formatting shortcuts were created - font and colour swatches - so future editors won’t need to go through the same stress of working out where everything is. These swatches will allow them to highlight text, click a button, and see it formatted correctly.
Digital Issue Hyperlink: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/66534695/issue-two-2022
Regional Student Publication Association Awards 2022, nominated by SCAN Newspaper.
Elizabeth (she/they) has been dedicated to SCAN since her first year at Lancaster University in 2019. She has worked as a Section Editor for Comment and this year stepped into the role of Associate Editor, one below the Editor-in-Chief.
Outside of SCAN, Elizabeth works towards building a professional portfolio through freelance writing for established media companies, career courses and seminars about journalism, attending networking events, and making industry contacts. She works tirelessly to support Section Editors and writers by offering this professional industry advice about journalist issues based on her experience.
For LGBTQ+ History Month, Elizabeth has been working with writers to develop and produce relevant community-focused content that explores what the month means to queer people, ensuring that queer voices are given a platform in their student publication, and has gone above and beyond to assist writers in drafting quality content representative of the paper’s impact.
Recently, she has been working with the Editor-in-Chief and Carolynne Associate Editor to lay up this print issue of SCAN. Elizabeth has had no experience in the past working with Adobe InDesign or even Apple Mac Computers but has taught herself all she can in just two days despite the lack of a handover from the previous exec and put together the formatting for this issue. She entirely updated the paper design to fit with other successful newspapers (both student publications and professional papers) which she pored over and took pages of research from.
What’s more, she has created formatting shortcuts (font and colour swatches) so future editors won’t need to go through the same stress of working out where everything is. The swatches will allow future users to simply highlight text, click a button, and see it formatted correctly.
At the moment, Elizabeth has been working on an editorial and writer workshop training session. This will cover in-depth explanations and demonstrations of how to use Adobe InDesign to format the student publication for each issue. A professional instructor in various journalist techniques, Elizabeth has offered to teach interviews, editing, and industry standards in formatting styles alongside SCAN Editor-in-Chief – a training session that will be the first of its kind and will be made available for free to all editors and SCAN writers.
Elizabeth works full-time on their placement year, five days a week, but after clocking out of an eight-hour shift, they immediately go to the SCAN office where they often work through the night and don’t get home again until after midnight while they’re working on the next print issue. This amount of sheer work they are putting in despite their own obligations outside of the student publication shows the dedication they have to ensure the publication remains beneficial for contributors and the wider community, always pushing for relevant and constant content.
Elizabeth demonstrates an outstanding commitment not just to SCAN and the future of the student publication but to the writers, editors, and student community who benefit from it.
Lancaster University Students Union Society Awards 2022, nominated by International Consultant for SCAN Newspaper, Lucy Whalen.
Beth has been on several execs this year so far: as Publicity Manager for Pole Fitness, Associate Editor for SCAN: Student Comment and News, Editor for Flash Literary Journal, and Co-Head of Judgement and Recruitment for the Literary Lancashire Award. She’s also on the Societies Committee as Head of Media & Technology.
I have never met anyone who can balance this many societies, let alone their exec duties but somehow Beth manages to exceed at each role while working a full-time job as part of her placement year.
For Pole Fitness, she managed the social media. This included creating graphics on Canva and transforming what was previously a fairly dry feed that lacked much engagement. Since she took over the social media, their Instagram page has had nearly 250 new followers in just two months (an increase of 43.5%, her screenshots of the insights page tell me). She constantly monitors the insight pages on their Instagram profile and is (rightly) very proud of how far Pole Fitness has come in terms of engagement. As a direct result of her interaction on social media and the creation of brand-new flyers and posters, Pole Fitness saw over 70 people at their first meet and greet social!
In just the first two months of her work in the role, the page has seen over 87,000 impressions, over 5,000 profile visits, and nearly 1,500 website clicks. Their content interaction has also increased by 24,000%. From a society that has gone widely unnoticed in the past, this was a huge boost for them at the start of the year and, thanks to Beth’s advertising on social media and in physical promotions, every class was sold out in the first four weeks.
Not only did Beth establish a TikTok presence, branded font, and colour swatches but she created a Linktree that has made it easier for students to access the classes and events the society offers. When she stepped down from her role in mid-November to focus on her placement, she created the first Publicity Officer handover document since 2019, including all the fonts, colours, and templates she used for graphics creation so that the role could be as easy as possible for the next incomer.
It's no surprise to anyone that Beth has been dedicated to SCAN since her first year at Lancaster in 2019. However, since stepping into her role as Associate Editor, she has been tirelessly working to support Section Editors and writers by offering professional industry advice about journalist issues based on her experience writing for established news and media companies outside of campus.
Her breaking news article about the fire in the sports centre was a huge piece that she caught herself and managed to get ready in about 2 hours (waiting for statements from relevant people) that no other news organisation in Lancaster broke. She also wrote an article about the backlash against Squid Game from Korean feminist students which was not only interesting to read but a fresh perspective.
Recently, though, she has been working with the Head Editor and Carolynne Editor to lay up this print issue of SCAN. She has had no experience in the past working with Adobe InDesign or even Apple Mac Computers but has taught herself all she can in just two days despite the lack of a handover from the previous exec and put together the formatting for this issue. What’s more, she has created formatting shortcuts so future editors won’t need to go through the same stress of working out where everything is, they just need to highlight text, click a button, and it’s formatted correctly.
The three of them have been working in the SCAN office to get this first issue sorted and haven’t been finishing until gone 3 AM for three nights in a row. They’re all incredibly dedicated to SCAN and the future of the paper which shows in the amount of sheer work they are putting in despite their own obligations outside of the society.
I’ve written way too much but overall, Beth is one of my closest friends and I have seen first-hand just how much of herself she contributes to societies on campus. Even outside of the societies she’s actually a part of – she is part of the Societies Committee and secures funding for societies on campus, she interviews societies for SCAN so they gain more members, she has formed publicity and friendly collabs between societies that have improved relations and shared resources, she’s assisted societies when they need an extra hand on deck or when they just need some professional or personal advice. She has freely taught Canva, Excel, and other design or admin software to several societies so that they can grow, sitting patiently with members of the exec for hours at a time or on a Teams meeting. I’ve even seen Beth stop an interview she was hosting for a Bailrigg podcast so that she could calm down the president of a sports society who was visibly upset about an incident that had happened during an exec meeting and offer advice.
I can think of no one else who so unselfishly dedicates their time and energy to the societies on campus the way that Beth does, without reward or even recognition most of the time. I really hope you’ll consider my nomination of her for the Outstanding Contribution to Societies Award.
Lancaster University Student Media Awards 2021, nominated twice.
"Beth has worked tirelessly throughout the year to produce a vast array of unique and engaging content for both SCAN and Bailrigg FM. Overall, Beth's commitment not only to student journalism but also to ensuring that it is of good quality and quantity cannot be described as anything other than outstanding and fully deserves to be recognised."
"Beth has been part of student media for the last two years and, last year, won Best Multimedia Journalist for her outstanding contributions across all of student media (including The Tab, Flash, and Her Campus). This year, she deserves Student Journalist of the Year because she has not only continued this incredible commitment to student journalism but worked twice as hard to see Bailrigg FM, SCAN Newspaper, and LA1 TV succeed and evolve. She was part of the team that adapted Bailrigg to home-broadcasting, she was the first journalist to collaborate Bailrigg podcasts with SCAN articles, she came up with the idea to include a mini issue in SCAN for Black and LGBTQ+ History Month (and that they should be guest-edited by the respective liberation officers), and she has always been there for any editor or Bailrigg department manager to help share the workload. Beth is without a doubt an integral element within all of student media and deserves recognition for the incredible work that she has done in the past year.
On top of her work in the executive teams, she has also continued to produce outstanding journalism work. She interviewed Bastille, a student addict, student OnlyFans creators, and an autistic student who couldn't come back to campus during the pandemic. She has reviewed queer Jewish poetry, post-lockdown theatre productions, and ground-breaking Channel 4 shows. She has contributed to every collaborative SCAN article - including vegan cooking, favourite LGBTQ+ books, and lockdown soundtracks. And she has worked closely with each of the Comment section writers, going above and beyond to help them find topics, research, interview, write, photograph, and edit their articles. If nothing else, she is singlehandedly ensuring that the future of student journalism is going to brighter than ever before and that everyone has a fair chance to get into the field. Beth has always held the mentality that you should share what you learn and she has never done anything less, mentoring over fifty first-year English students in journalism and literary work, helping anyone (regardless of background) get into the industry and succeed.
Overall, I firmly believe that Beth is an outstanding candidate for Student Journalist of the Year and can't wait to see what she goes on to do next year."
Lancaster University Student Media Awards 2021, for '“I literally took a pill in Ibiza”: Interview with a student addict'.
"A hard-hitting snapshot of the harsh realities that exist in student life both pre and during the pandemic. Beth's questions allow for a respectful conversation that gave a voice to those who are often not seen by the majority. It is informative, truthful and professional. A real and captivating article that every student should read."
Lancaster University Student Media Awards 2021, for 'Review of Lungs: The Future of Socially-Distanced Theatre?'
"This was the first review of a post-lockdown stage play and addressed issues that people had yet to think of. A witty, thoughtful, and endlessly insightful review. A fantastic comment on the future of arts post-pandemic and a professionally written review."
National Student Publication Association Awards 2021, nominated by SCAN Newspaper.
"This year, Beth became Comment Editor for SCAN. This year, she was also diagnosed with complex PTSD. Seeing her overcome immense obstacles has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Despite all, Beth has still produced her section every issue, written across every section in the paper, and held the university to account on crucial student matters. To celebrate Black and LGBTQ+ History Month, it was Beth’s suggestion that inspired special issues of SCAN that included its first ever Black section and LGBTQ+ section. Beth was also one of the pioneering forces behind the marriage between SCAN and student radio station, Bailrigg FM, becoming the first reporter to produce interviews in both print and podcast.
Including the articles supporting this submission, Beth has interviewed student OnlyFans creators (which was picked up by the Sunday Mirror), Bastille, a student addict, has reviewed ground-breaking post-COVID theatre performances, queer Jewish poetry pamphlets, and books written by LGBTQ+ women. Her stories have brought communities together in a way that has been so difficult during lockdown but she has done so unrelentingly.
Her dedication to journalism and the local community is clear in her articles featuring small businesses. She has always been a hands-on reporter but to bring attention to small businesses in the community over lockdown, she signed up for several classes, including an online stretch class, which she chronicled in a feature for the Sports section.
Beth is without a doubt one of the strongest people I have ever met and a truly incredible reporter. Her journalism would be credit enough for this award but to have overcome all that she has is a real tribute to her passion."
National Student Publication Association Awards 2021, nominated by Tom Burgess, SCAN News Editor, for '“STAY IN YOUR FLAT AT ALL TIMES” and other misleading communication from Lancaster Uni'.
"Beth’s journalism has always been outstanding, but her piece at the start of the 2020/21 academic year on the university’s miscommunication was outstanding. Beth heard from a few of the freshers reps that there were worrying signs up around campus that implied that students would have to self-isolate in their flats at all times.
Beth gathered as many accounts from a variety of worrying situations as possible, from freshers holding large outdoor parties to groups being told to isolate without any of them having the virus. The piece was quickly read by thousands of Lancaster students all of whom were naturally worried about the situation, Beth’s piece will have helped to calm some worries and held the university accountable for the outrageous £17.00 per day meal plans.
This piece gave a voice to the students who were being forced to self-isolate, despite not having the virus, and those having to pay exponential prices for food. The £17.00 food plan generated so much outrage that the university soon revised its plans. This is a piece of quality journalism that produced real change for the students of Lancaster and deserves to be recognised as such."
National Student Publication Association Awards 2021, nominated by SCAN Newspaper for 'Lancaster Uni tells students worried about COVID-19 to suspend their studies'.
"In a standard interview talking about the life in lockdown of an anonymous student who had returned home, Beth caught a stray comment by the subject about a questionable email from Lancaster University management. Upon reviewing the email, Beth saw that the uni had ordered students who had stayed at home during Michaelmas term to return in the Lent term or else “suspend” their studies.
Beth was the first to break this story and gathered more information from a series of interviews and email leaks to build up an exposé that rocked the student community of Lancaster. Her handling of the story was professional, effective, and displayed a commitment to digging up a story that reflects SCAN’s dedication to transparency.
It’s been hard to find new interviews about COVID-19, especially from lockdown when contacting subjects and gathering information has been made that much harder but Beth worked tirelessly to hold the university management to account. She was not only quick to adapt to online interviews but learned the new shift rotas of the management press offices so she could contact them and get responses as fast as possible in order to get the story out as soon as she did.
The standard of interview itself surpasses most – Beth writes eloquently and interweaves interview with comments about the university handling of COVID with quotes from emails and press offices with relevant contextual notations. She effectively combines transcript with research to produce an interview that was not only the first coverage of this story but also a comprehensive account of her autistic subject being disadvantaged by the unseen pitfalls of remote learning – a perspective that hasn’t been addressed enough.
Beth’s interview is candid, ground-breaking, and expertly written, shedding a light on the reckless decision of university management and lives of forgotten students."
Lancaster University Student Media Awards 2020
"Over the past year, Beth has thrown herself into and worked incredibly hard for roles across multiple mediums of student media. She's a very active correspondent for SCAN, for which she publishes several articles per issue. On top of that, she has two two-hour weekly shows for Bailrigg FM and is an acting member of the station's news team, whilst being on the exec for Her Campus Lancaster engaged with their social media and PR."