***Content call***

Hi everyone!

It’s that time of term again, please see below for the content call for the print edition of The Witness. We’ve suggested some broad themes and topics we would like to be covered, with some suggestions as to the direction they can be taken in – however, if you would like to write about anything else please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

If any of these catch your eye, or if they don’t and you’ve got an idea of your own you’d like to write about, please email Becca at rsm215@exeter.ac.uk for articles numbered 5-8 below or Will at wp258@exeter.ac.uk for those listed 1-4 before you start writing. All we need is a brief outline of your ideas to ensure that no ideas are replicated. We’re also more than happy to offer advice if you’d like to write a piece but aren’t quite sure what about or where to start.

Word length: the maximum word limit is either 500 words or 1000 words (a single page or double page spread) – if you have a preference for how long you’d like your article to be please state this in the email, otherwise we can give you some advice.

Deadline: the deadline for submissions is Wednesday 21st February. If you’d like to write for us but won’t be able to make this deadline, please let us know and we can see whether we can accommodate you for the print journal. Alternatively, we will definitely be able to publish your article on our website.

Here are the suggestions:


– New Conservative universities minister says the government are rethinking their approach to tuition fees and maintenance loans, having already capped fees at their current level. Corbyn wants to scrap them completely. Who’s right? Here’s a good summary to start: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/…/tory-nerves-grow-over-no-1…/

1) NHS
– Is the NHS in crisis? (This can be split into a for and against piece)
– Should the NHS be privatised? How should it be funded? (Again, it can be split into a for and against piece)

2) Public v. Private
– Is Carillion’s collapse a watershed moment? What are the advantages / disadvantages of nationalisation? Or does the private sector still have an important role? This can be linked to a certain industry/sector

3) Social mobility
– This is a very broad one – can look at how much of a problem it is for students from less-advantaged backgrounds at university, job prospects etc. A recent report from the Social Mobility Commission emphasised an increasing geographical divide and how a postcode lottery decides young peoples chances. Read the report here

4) Can Britain defend itself ?
– With money tight after investing in new warships, jets and submarines, Britain’s defence budget needs to fill a £20bn black hole in the next ten years. How should it be filled? What are the military threats facing Britain? And what should be the role of the Armed Forces?

5) China
– Will it be the next superpower?

6) South America
– Mexico: we often hear about Mexico in relation to the US, but what of their domestic politics, and their views on and reactions to the Trump administration?; the experience of those who get deported from the US to Mexico, having left their family and their lives behind (lots of directions you could take this in, e.g. stories of those who have been deported, difficulties of trying to make a life in Mexico, how this impacts the family still living in the US)
– Venezuela: possible upcoming election – what does this mean for the parties in question?; impact of the economic crisis on the country and current national political siuation
– Brazil: presidential corruption scandal; presidential impeachment

7) Africa
– Liberia: the new president is a former professional footballer, and one of his first policies was to cut his own salary by 25% – we’d like a comment piece on this, feel free to take it in any direction you like
– Zimbabwe: after the ousting of Mugabe, is South Africa set for change under Mnangagwa?
– South Africa: with president Jacob Zuma’s job hanging in the balance, what is the current political situation in South Africa?

8) Middle East
– Iran: as a regional power; Trump scrapping the nuclear deal
– Kurds: with Turkey attacking Syrian Kurds at the moment, what is the status of Kurds in the Middle East, and what is the future likely to hold for them?
– Egypt: presidential elections will be held at the end of Egypt – there are claims that current president al-Sisi has made opposition to his candidature virtually impossible, meaning he is pretty much guaranteed to win. What is likely to happen in the run-up to and result of the election, and what could be the consequences of this?

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