Bishop's Stortford College student launches online newspaper to 'broaden minds'
A sixth-form student has launched an online newspaper with the aim of "broadening minds and expanding futures" – and the plan is to involve schools from across the town.
The Student Economist was created by Freddie Cooke with help from his friend Elliot Wood and is already attracting a lot of interest from fellow students.
Bishop's Stortford College student Freddie initially planned to keep it internal to his school, but after collaborating with Bishop's Stortford High student Elliot it was decided to broaden its reach.
"We both thought this could be a great way to collaborate across Stortford – starting with two schools that are more used to rivalry rather than collaboration, certainly in regard to sport!" said Freddie.
Although Freddie said the aim was to foster debate on current affairs and improve students' knowledge of politics and economics he told the Independent it would offer people who write for the paper some leverage when applying for university or jobs.
"We hope to provide a ‘springboard’ if you like, something our contributors can put on their university or job application in order to demonstrate that they are willing to go above and beyond for their career or university course of interest," said Freddie.
The newspaper is made up of four columns, current affairs, controversy, insight and Freddie's favourite, debate.
He said the first subject of debate is 'The UK Should Take More Immigrants', where two students with opposing views write articles and the reader votes at the bottom who was more persuasive.
"Although in its infancy, this is my favourite column as I believe it best satisfies our aim of fostering debate and questioning, where otherwise it may have been easy to side with one well explained article," said Freddie.
He said it was important to help students who presently have a constant barrage of news.
"Social media news, where the majority of people get their news, often leads to echo corridors of identical opinions and we hope collecting differing opinions in one platform will inspire interest, debate and questioning that may not have otherwise occurred," said Freddie.
The 17-year-old is in his final year of sixth form, but although he plans to do a degree in politics, policy and economics, he is unsure where he will go next due to the uncertainty around A-levels.
In the meantime The Student Economist is fast making waves and Freddie reported that he had received a lot of material, including on subjects such as populism, post-war socialism and big tech.
"We say on our website that if you're interested in it then someone else our age will be, no matter how niche a subject matter or out of the ordinary it may be," said Freddie.