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Durham21, The Story So Far

Posted on 6th March 2009. 2 Comments

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Hello everybody, as you’ve probably noticed durham21 is currently spluttering back to life after a slow and painful decline over the past year or so. Many of you are probably wondering why and how a site that used to get over 1000 hits a day and won many a student media award got into such a shit state. The simple answer, as far as we know, is that there was a failure to hand over to a new editorial team last year, consequently anyone who submitted content etc, found out there was no one to approve it and put it up on the site.


I found out about all of this while working for Palatinate, where it thought, why doesn’t someone just re-launch the site? After all only one journalistic outlet in Durham can’t be a good thing (I don’t count Sanctuary because it is nothing more then a soulless money making exercise). So with the help of Miss Lucy Sainsbury I was able to contact the last site administrator who gave me and a few others access to the site. From there we were able to start to take control of the site; however we came up against a couple of problems, the primary ones being we had no money or writers.


Using the emailing contacts of Darren Starling we were able to get the ball rolling on the writers side of things, although we are still missing some key positions, (if you are interested in contributing contact robert.bownes@durham.ac.uk). On the money front the DSU were their characteristically useless self, not exactly rejecting the proposal of investment, more displaying their standard incompetence by not even replaying to any of the emails from us. Luckily after some serious investigatory work, our very talented new webmaster James Inman managed to track down one of the original members of durham21, Adrian Inman (no relation). After some e-mailing we managed to convince him to come up and help us gain complete control of the site (some random tech thing involving pointing something at something else and some DNS thing, I dunno…) and fill us in on the financial state of the site. Essentially durham21 is a private company which used to make thousands of pounds in profit for the same charities DUCK supports, revenue at the moment is obviously not what it used to be, but he did say if we really needed some money to re-advertise the site, the company could contribute.


So that is pretty much the stage we are at now, we have a team of several writers posting as much as they can, we have James putting the new site together (it should be running perfectly soon) and we are currently waiting for some finance to start a seriously good advertising campaign (if anyone would like to head up this marketing team please get in contact). Hopefully, fingers crossed by next term the site will be back to the good old days.


I hope that helps explain a few things.




Robert Bownes

Durham21 Editor


  • Tom said:

    Great to see that d21 is back. The founders must have been turning in their graves watching its slow decline from such heady heights!

  • Clare Coulson said:

    Wow – I’m so glad somwone has come along to save Durham21. I was on the D21 team for two years, joining a year after it was set up. I’m glad I didn’t see the site fall in to disrepair, though! One comment though – we are just re-desiging our website at the publishing house I work at and one thing that is really prevelant at the moment in the use of colour – why not inject some into D21 to let people know that something exciting is happening. Good luck to you, Robert.