NaSTA History

NaSTA: a brief history of time(code) – an introduction 

So NaSTA is old. Really, really old. NaSTA is so incredibly old that there no one will ever know for certain just how old NaSTA is.

Some say this is due to the way in which records have been lost through the passage of time, whereas others say such facts have simply fallen foul to a perenial cycle of hangovers, essay deadlines and regret that stretches back nearly half a century.

So where did the storied history of the National Student Television Association actually begin? 

A recently discovered article from the Glasgow University Guardian suggests, contrary to popular belief that the association was in actual fact formed in 1968.

“The National Student Television Association was set up in 1968 to foster links between student TV units, so that they could swap programme tapes and generally keep in touch. After a peak of interest in the mid-seventies, contacts began to break down and NaSTA was in danger of collapsing...with the renewed interest in TV inspired by the coming of cable TV and satellite, NaSTA is becoming stronger again. There were fifty students present at this  year’s conference.”

The article’s credence is bolstered as it also carries detailed information on the attendance of previous conferences – ten stations in 1982, seven in 1981, five in 1980 – suggesting that the text comes from an informed source.

The earliest newspaper reference to NaSTA (written, in this case, as NSTA) was previously found in The Observer, 24th October 1971. as regular Glasgow Student TV broadcasts began in January 1969, there are no details concerning the formation of NaSTA in the GU Guardian.

Elsewhere, an online discussion, without citation, refers to activity in Sussex (1969) and Plymouth (1970) so with this in mind, the current timeline of NaSTA host stations is as follows:

  • 1968 – Founded (earliest record of NaSTA)
  • 1970 – Plymouth (SUTV) – the commonly held point where NaSTA is viewed as having begun.
  • 1976 – Edinburgh
  • 1980 – Edinburgh
  • 1982 – University of London (ULU)
  • 1983 – Guild TV Birmingham
  • 1984 – Plymouth (SUTV)
  • 1985 – GUST Glasgow
  • 1986 – Nexus UTV Norwich – the first attempted introduction of a NaSTA 'constitution'
  • 1987 – YSTV York
  • 1993 – BTV London
  • 1994 – Guild TV Birmingham
  • 1995 – Campus TV Bath
  • 1996 – Nexus UTV Norwich
  • 1997 – YSTV York
  • 1998 – Guild TV Birmingham
  • 1999 – GUST Glasgow –Student TV night was commissioned by BBC Choice Scotland (broadcast Jan 2000)
  • 2000 – C6 Bournemouth – the first year of the awards being judged by industry professionals.
  • 2001 – STOIC/BTV London
  • 2002 – YSTV York
  • 2003 – GUST Glasgow
  • 2004 – Nexus UTV Norwich
  • 2005 – LSUTV Loughborough – NaSTA was cancelled by LSU. They later reversed this decision owing to stations opposition to the controversial decision.
  • 2006 – LSTV Leeds/YSTV York
  • 2007 – WTV Warwick/Guild TV Birmingham
  • 2008 – LUST Leicester
  • 2009 – SUSUtv Southampton – the original broadcast launch of FreshersTV (2 week format)
  • 2010 – GUST Glasgow
  • 2011 – LSUTV Loughborough – the launch of the live FreshersTV broadcast
  • 2012 – NUTS Nottingham
  • 2013 – XTV Exeter
  • 2014 – LSUTV Loughborough
  • 2015 – PSTV Preston/LA1TV Lancaster 
  • 2016 - LSTV Leeds
  • 2017 - Guild TV Birmingham