Canvas is an award winning online politics journal produced and run by students at the University of Sheffield. Canvas attempts to stimulate debate through an innovative approach in which we encourage a mixture of journalism, academic research and political thought. Covering all manner of current affairs and political debate, we produce themed issues, interview famous politicians and commentators, and even have our own radio show. Overall we believe that modern political culture is best served by reasoned debate and analysis and a variety of viewpoints.
Canvas’ crucial vision is to be the central platform to encourage political debate and discussion amongst students interested in politics – from all disciplines. Canvas is more than a substantive politics journal, but also aims to use a number of different channels to engage students: a podcast, making use of crowd sourcing, and developing face-to-face debates.
Canvas seeks to provide a politically neutral platform, and ensures it will do this in a variety of ways:
- Canvas approaches all political parties at Sheffield Students’ Union to comment on specific issues, enabling their representation and equal opportunity to express their opinion;
- Canvas allows all writers the freedom of expression to tackle topics in the way in which they feel is most appropriate without restrictions from editors or fellow writers (with the exception of inciting hatred);
- Canvas editors will ensure that each issue that is publish will portray, to the best of their ability, a variety of viewpoints on the chosen topic;
- Themes and issues are selected in a democratic way through feedback and input from all committee members, editors and writers, not to mention readers;
- Canvas holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect the Editorial Committee. This is open to all Sheffield University students.
Canvas was founded as a small journal to explore political issues at Sheffield Students’ Union. A group of Politics students believed that an outlet to bridge academic politics with current affairs and philosophy has been missing at Sheffield University. This is why the founding students believed a new platform was necessary.
Canvas was created in early 2010, and the first issue was published on 05 May 2010 – the day of the British general election. Students explored all sorts of issues, from the Prime Ministerial Television Debates to the idea of political wives. The first issue was a resounding success, and Canvas has since gone on to publish issues on a huge variety of public policy and philosophy issues related to politics, including gender, law and order, and technology.
Canvas had also broadened its horizons through collaboration with other societies and committees at Sheffield Students’ Union, such as Sheffield Debating, and interviewed a number of high profile speakers ranging from Professor David Held to the NUS President Aaron Porter (2010-11). We have moved beyond monthly issues and opened our Analysis & Comment section to explore current affairs issues from the student point of view on a regular, weekly basis.
Throughout this time, Canvas has flourished, and aims to continue its strong presence in the policy community and the commentary world. We intend to build on our productive past with ever higher ambitions:
- Founding research groups to explore more issues;
- Continue to interview high-profile speakers;
- Develop links with other societies, committees and political institutions.
Canvas will not approve comments that are hateful, sexist, racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory or defamatory.