Who we are
Cherwell is Oxford’s oldest student newspaper and one of the UK’s oldest student publications. Founded in 1920, we have been independent for more than a century and continue to steer our own path. Weekly (fortnightly during the pandemic) print editions are sent to every College JCR and University office during term time.
Among our notable alumni are Evelyn Waugh, Cecil Day-Lewis, Graham Greene, and W. H. Auden; more recently, Christina Lamb, Evan Davis, Peter Preston, and other well-respected media leaders have passed through our doors. Whether you hope to be the next star journalist or simply want a fun way to gain experience, you will be joining a proud legacy of student publishing and a wonderful community of like-minded peers. To read more about our history, click here.
Cherwell is published by Oxford Student Publications Limited, a student-run publishing house based in Oxford. Our sister OSPL publications include The Isis, The Oxford Scientist, Industry, and Phaser magazines. OSPL, as a company, supports us in legal, financial, and archival matters; to get in touch, email Nelson Fernandes Serrao at [email protected]
We open all staff roles for applications at the end of every term. Two Editors-in-Chief are appointed to lead the paper for a full term, and six Deputy Editors are chosen to oversee sections, manage community outreach projects, and support Section Editors. Deputy Editors and Editors-in-Chief make up our senior editorial team, who make executive decisions together collaboratively.
Each section is usually made up of between two and five Section Editors and Deputy Section Editors, who are responsible for commissioning articles, editing, coordinating with writers, and laying in the physical paper with the support of Deputy Editors. Section Editors and Deputy Section Editors have similar responsibilities and tasks, but Deputy Section Editors are usually newer to student journalism and receive more support.
Our Salter’s Yard office, shared with other OSPL publications, hosts staff meetings, IT facilities, and our archives. Due to Covid-19 much of our work has moved to a remote basis, but our offices are still frequently used by staff in a safe and secure manner.
A full list of our sections and staff roles are available here. Currently, we are recruiting:
Science and Technology
Business and Finance
We recommend looking through our website and checking out a physical copy of the paper before applying; let us know if we can help in any way by emailing [email protected]!
How it works
After you submit your application, you will receive an invitation to interview with members of our senior editorial team.
The interview usually lasts around 15 minutes: you will be asked about your interests, relevant experiences (if applicable), your vision for your section of choice, and your understanding of editorial standards.
Interviews help us gain a stronger sense of who you are and what you bring to Cherwell; they are informal and not meant to be intimidating, so don’t worry about preparing beforehand!
If you are applying for Deputy Editor, you will also be asked about your ideas for projects, your knowledge of the paper and its processes, and your ability to lead. OSPL Board Members will be present at Deputy Editor interviews.
Every editorial application is evaluated holistically based on the contents of your form and your interview. In every interview we always ask applicants if any other sections/roles interest them, should we be unable to offer them a role in their first-choice section. We routinely receive large amounts of applications in each term, and unfortunately we cannot offer every applicant a role; however, we try our best to place unsuccessful but qualified applicants in other sections/roles that fit.
Deputy Editor applicants who are unsuccessful but qualified are often offered Section Editor roles instead, so don’t worry about missing out on getting involved in case your Deputy application doesn’t make it this term!
Applicants for our Creative, Social Media, Photojournalism, and Events Teams are not interviewed. Creative and Social Media Team applications are evaluated at the same time as Section Editor applications; Photojournalism and Events applications usually open closer to the start of Hilary Term.
We aim to send out results to every applicant within a week of their interview date. However, due to personnel constraints this is sometimes not possible, and we do apologise if you experience delays. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions at any point in the application process.
How to apply
Editors-in-Chief applicants should contact Sasha Mills or Irene Zhang for the application form and submit it by midnight on Thursday of 7th Week (November 25th).
Do you need any kinds of experiences to apply for roles?
Not at all! Whether you’re a seasoned writer/editor/creative or just want to try your hand at journalism, your application is absolutely welcome. Of course, it’s always nice to see applicants who have an understanding of our editorial process or have demonstrated passion for writing, but these are certainly not required and we recognise that availability of opportunities can differ depending on previous circumstances. Come as you are, and we are always happy to help out along the way!
If you are applying to be a Deputy Editor, we usually anticipate that you’ve had some editorial experience before. However, applications are always evaluated on an individual basis. Editors-in-Chief are selected from last term’s Deputy Editors.
Is Cherwell a big commitment?
Section Editors usually spend around 1-3 hours per week on Cherwell-related work. You are always working with a team and supported by your Deputy Editor, so there’s as much flexibility as you need when it comes to crises big and small! In weeks where a print paper is coming out, you will usually have a lay-in meeting where your section team comes together to put your page together. Outside of lay-ins, your tasks mostly involve coming up with commission ideas, responding to pitches and submissions, and editing articles.
Deputy Editor roles are a more significant commitment. Each Deputy Editor oversees 3-4 sections (except the Deputy Editor in charge of News), and the senior editorial team is responsible for proofreading the print paper twice before publication. Deputy Editors also manage community and outreach projects, from panels, speaker events, and fundraising to social media, paper delivery, and staff socials!
Editors-in-Chief oversee Deputy Editors’ work and steer Cherwell‘s editorial direction. They support reporting when needed, respond to editorial inquiries, coordinate with OSPL on legal and financial matters, and are responsible for creating a welcoming place to work.