Reading’s budding young media moguls are now comfortably situated in brand new offices after the Stephen Lawrence centre located at the back of RUSU building was officially opened on October 11th.
The centre is the new home to student led media outlets Spark*, Junction11 and RU:ON TV and is comprised of a smart new recording studio, editing suite and newsroom. The student media channels have moved from their old building which has now been refurbished and renamed ‘The Study’ as a part of a revamp of the Student Union facilities.
Symon Sentain, Chair of the Trustees of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, officially unveiled the centre and was representing the family of Stephen Lawrence who was brutally murdered in a racist attack in 1993.
Sentain, who helped to unveil the plaque outside the suite, said that: “Universities and places of learning are where our future generations are coming from, our leaders of tomorrow. Your new media centre will be a really key part of that.”
Mark Kelleher, RUSU President, said: “The last two decades since Stephen’s tragic death have thankfully seen some significant changes, where people are held to account, especially by the media. Student media is a great way to start a career in journalism, and we are proud to dedicate our media centre to the memory of Stephen Lawrence.”
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, commented: “We are very fortunate to have such a thriving student media scene at Reading. As a former student journalist myself, I understand the effort and rewards that come with volunteering in this way. While the technology has moved on, the importance of having a vibrant and independent media is as strong as ever.”
The rooms were dedicated to Stephen and the Lawrence family for their commitment to justice and the fight against institutionalised racism. Now the rooms have been refurbished, the meaning of the rooms can be retold and the importance of the media can be reemphasised.
Aryan Alipour, Station Manager of RU:ON TV, stated that he feels as if the station feels more like a “RUSU media stream” now that they are a part of the RUSU building whilst Junction11 radio’s Station Manager, James McCormick said that the new space is of “great benefit to all student media” as it has enabled the radio to “extend its broadcasting hours” and to interact more “with the main union and its events.” Finally Sophie Harrison, Editor of Spark*, commented on the new space saying, “The Stephen Lawrence Rooms have been a great success. It’s good to see the rooms used for something productive.”