Students impress dragon’s den style panel of industry judges with their magazines

Final year magazine production students completed their journalism degree this week by pitching the magazines they created to a panel of five top industry judges.

Posted: 13 May 2016

image for news story Students impress dragon’s den style panel of industry judges with their magazines
The winning team, Hitched For Him with journalism lecturer Ali McClintock.

The students worked in four teams and had 15 minutes to pitch their 24-page magazines that had to include a business plan on why they believed their magazine is commercial viable. The judges, who deliberated at the end of the pitches to decide on the winning group, were scoring the groups on a number of factors, including how well the teams had considered their magazines unique selling point, pricing strategy, reader demographics, marketing, branding and design of both their printed and digital versions.

The panel of judges were:

  • Dominic Mills – Honorary Professor at the University of Roehampton. Dominic has over 25 years' experience as a business journalist, editor and editorial director.
  • Claire Matthaie - Commissioning features editor of Glamour Magazine.
  • Foluke Akinlose MBE - founder of Precious Online – the UK's leading online magazine, network and awards event for women of colour.
  • John Carter - Sales Director at Bishops Printers.
  • Nikki Simpson - Business Manager at Professional Publishers Association (PPA), Scotland.

Ali McClintock, magazine production lecturer said: “All the groups have worked extremely hard to bring their magazines to life. What started with an idea are now commercial viable magazines. The students had no budget to work with, but utilised social media to reach out to brands and photographers to gain permission to use their images. Together they have amassed over 6.5k followers and they should all feel incredibly proud of their finished magazines.”

The teams were:

Chair of the judges, Dominic Mills announced the winner at Hitched For Him. The students in this team are Anthony Pius, Jaspreet Nagra, Maren Bolderslow, Rebekah Beecham, Sophie Gardiner and Yvonne Saestad.

Nikki Simpson said: “We were all so impressed by the standard of the four publications. Hitched For Him took the top prize though – their idea and execution stood out, with the judges all agreeing that the publication filled a gap in the market – and a market which has huge potential growth. They’d thought hard about their tone of voice and the humour, photography and illustration used in the publication consequently appeals direct to their target audience.

“We hope every team will take their projects further after leaving university and expect to hear great things from them in their future careers.”

Jaspreet Nagra, Editor of Hitched For Him said: “Creating a print magazine in an era where everyone is turning to digital has made us look at existing prints differently, with much more respect, as we now know how much work goes into producing a print magazine. As a team, we are very happy knowing that all of our hard work had paid off.”

The students worked in Roehampton’s well-equipped multimedia newsrooms for six months of their final year, performing roles from editor and deputy editor to art directors and social media managers, in order to create their own printed magazine as well as its web-based version.

The University of Roehampton is ranked second in London for Journalism. The Department of Media, Culture and Language has also recently launched a new MA in Journalism.

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