Students, alumni and staff make magazine in 48 hours


Newcastle alumni, students and staff descended on the BALTIC gallery in Gateshead in November to create a magazine in 48 hours about the Turner Prize – with support from the Alumni Association Student Initiative Fund.

Turnaround: 48 hours at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art chronicled the weekend of 25–27 November at the City’s flagship gallery, as it became the first non-Tate venue—and only the second venue outside London—to host what is arguably the UK’s most famous award for contemporary art.

The non-profit project was led by, a hyperlocal news website serving the Newcastle suburb of Jesmond which is mainly written by student journalists at Newcastle University, and featured some of the North East’s finest independent talent—including Warm Design, Novel Magazine and the Cloud Commission. The 44-strong team of volunteers also included schoolchildren, members of the public and creative professionals from across the North East.

Its aim, according to co-editor Dan Howarth (BA English Language 2005, MA Media & Journalism 2008), was to help ordinary people understand the purpose and power of contemporary art at a grassroots level, rather than the top-down approach traditionally associated with prestigious arts prizes—whilst raising money for charity.

Spreads from the 48 hour magazine, Turnaround

‘BALTIC attracted 149,000 visitors to this year’s Turner Prize, generating a huge amount of opinions and experiences. Turnaround has harnessed just a few in its 24 pages of journalism, creative writing, photography and illustration, and we hope people will keep it as a memento of this unique occasion,’ said Howarth.

The project was funded by advertising, along with a start-up grant from the Alumni Association Student Initiative Fund, which is supported by alumni donations to Newcastle University’s Annual Fund. MA journalism student Nathan Buck's behind-the-scenes film of the 48 hour mag weekend (opens in a new window)

‘We don’t know the exact total just yet, but the project has made over £1,000 for local charities, through advertising sales, honesty box donations and raffle prizes at the launch party,’ said Howarth. ‘We’ll be distributing the cash in the next few weeks through charity search engine,, with a chunk going back to the Annual Fund to help breathe life into similar projects in the future.’

Above: MA journalism student Nathan Buck's behind-the-scenes film of the 48 hour mag weekend (opens in a new window)

Christopher Jackson (MA Creative Writing 2008), a writer who is currently producing a children’s storybook app for the iPad, was one of the graduates involved in the magazine. ‘Project Turnaround was a fantastic experience,’ he said. ‘To work in such a creative environment, with so many talented people and under a strict deadline, was really exciting, fun and inspiring. It was a nice change from the isolation of freelancing.’

Other alumni on the project were James Al-Mudallal (BA English Literature 2011), David Baines (BA English & Philosophy 1977), Michael Baker (BA Town Planning 2010), Sophie Bauckham (MA International Multimedia Journalism 2011), Richard Blakeborough (BSc Psychology 2004), Bob Cooper (BA English Language 2008), Lee Halpin (MA Creative Writing 2010), Callum McGlade (BA History 2011), Elizabeth Shaw (MSc Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship 2011), Chris Stokel-Walker (BA English Literature 2010), Maria Szpitun (BA Government & European Union Studies 2004, MA 2005), and Alexander Wilson (BA Town Planning 2010). The team also included 13 current Newcastle students and six members of staff.

You can find out more about the project and watch a series of short films on its website, see an online version of the magazine on Issuu, and get a free printed copy by contacting Dan Howarth at:

You can also see photos from the weekend by Alexander Wilson (BA Town Planning 2010) on Facebook.

Some of the Turnaround team (photo by Alexander Wilson)

published on: 11th January 2012

Return to Annual Fund news