Darts – student newspaper days

Having recently moved, I was looking through cardboard boxes full of “loft stuff” and came across all the old copies of the student newspaper I used to work on.

Long since relegated to the “dead pool”, Darts was the student ‘rag’ for Sheffield University and, in its time, was a hotbed for budding journalists. One year I worked on it, we won a Guardian Student Media award and one of our crew was the Student Journalist of the Year.

I often wonder if there’s a percentage of student journalists who continue their careers in the media – all I can say is that there were a good number of the people I worked with who carried it on.

– David Prosser is now the Independent’s money editor

– Kate Finnigan is a successful journalist, who has written for the likes of Elle and The Guardian over the years and is currently working at The Times

– Rachel Newsome won the Student Newspaper Journalist of the Year award and went on to edit Dazed & Confused magazine

– Lucie Cave is now the Features Editor at heat magazine

– Lech Mintowt-Czyz is now a journalist at The Times, having previously worked for The Daily Mail and Evening Standard.

– Rachael Garnett became News Editor on daily regional newspapers, such as the Bournemouth Daily Echo

– Katharine Hassell entered magazine journalism and currently works on women’s magazines at IPC Media

– I do the odd bit, but then you probably knew that already!

There are probably more, who I have forgotten, but that’s a pretty good hit rate from just a couple of years.

14 thoughts on “Darts – student newspaper days”

  1. I wrote for Darts during the year I spent in Sheffield, 1980-81 and recall going down to London for the Guardian Student Awards. I remember that James Cameron – one of the greatest post-war British correspondents — who was still writing for the Guardian, brought us all a drink.

    I can remember faces of fellow reporters clearly, but names are a bit fuzzy…Glen, Phil (Sutcliffe?) Cathy, Helen (Brabbs?). I left Sheffield to transfer to Nottingham where, as editor of the student paper there, the wonderfully named Bias, was again at the Guardian Awards a couple of years later, picking up one of the student journalist of the year prizes. That year it was Guardian editor, Peter Preston’s turn to stand us all a drink!

    1. Hi Nick,
      Yes – Helen Brabbs was my name…now, amongst other things I paint a little. Thoroughly enjoyed my time on Darts – highlights included interviewing John Cooper Clark in his less lucid days. I still keep in touch with a few people, including Cathy, Glyn and Mark.
      My trip to Hamleys toy store as a representative of a “games” publication was probably a mistake (on their part).

      1. Only 6 years late seeing this, Helen! Somehow listening to old Top of the Pops shows lead me down an internet wormhole! Good to hear you are still in touch with Glyn, Cathy and Mark. I think Cathy’s brother went into film industry journalism; our paths occasionally cross. I’ve been a Moscow-based correspondent for years, currently as Anglophone corrie for France 24 TV among others.

  2. Hi Rob,

    I worked at DARTS while there as student in 96/97, and I was just thinking about the many people who I worked with still in the media.. Journalists – Kevin Peachey, Dylan Jane, Sean Ingle, Photographers – Simon Roberts, Ben Curtis. happy days!


  3. I was an avid reader of Darts 1976-79 – and I’d like to be able to browse issues of that period online. Do you know if any have been scanned and made available?

    1. I’ve just today found a whole box of pristine 50’s to 80’s Darts newspapers! Interesting reads. I didn’t realise they were school papers until my brother looked into the history if them! Glad I saved them from the skip at the house I was working at

  4. A random nostalgic Googling led me to your post, Rob – only a decade late! I don’t know if you remember me but I was a regular Dartser from 93-96 – music editor and later arts editor. I recall you as a talented and very affable chap, one of a really nice bunch that worked on the paper over that time. Quite often see names from that vintage that are now writing for the national press, and others that have gone on to work in the wider media. I hope the world is treating you splendidly. Steve M

    1. Steve! I remember you so well. I’ve often wondered what happened to you. So great to hear from you. Hope life is treating you well. R ?

      1. Bless you for the kind words, my good man – IT shenanigans this end responsible for the spectacularly tardy reply. I sincerely hope that all is well at Casa Mansfield. I’ve been working at the Peak District National Park for several eons – I’m nowadays based in Buxton, mainly ruing massive sleep deprivation due to late onset parenthood and two hairy sproglets. Great to have one’s memories of the Darts years prompted.

    1. I thought you and Ranadon were media assistants to Georg Phillip Telemann, Mike.
      I still have a reasonably comprehensive set of issues of Darts published between late 1975 and 1980

      1. I retain the Imperial Crown of Ruritania and continue to exercise my role as Pontiff of the Holy See of Ranadonia.

  5. Hah. Resurrecting the zombie thread (after finding some old Darts stuff in the cupboard, and some of my old work that went into the paper).

    I was one of the photogs between ’94 & ’97 (under Ben Curtis, who if I recall correctly was photo/editor).

    Many an hour beavering away in the darkroom after spending many an hour wandering around the city.

    The good old days!

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