Welcome to the first issue of Erudition and a special welcome back to all of our old readers. For those of you who are new to our magazine I would like to take a moment to tell you who we are. Erudition started as an online magazine for students in Reading known as Reading Online News or RON for short.

In the past months we have been joined by our Bristol team, headed up by Emma Holland, and together we have worked solidly over the Christmas holidays to be able to present to you the first ever edition of Erudition Magazine.

It is a matter of some pride for me to be able to present to you the first ever edition of Erudition; together with our staff of fantastic editors and writers, we have put together a magazine that has something for everyone. In the student calendar, January is a time for house hunting for the following academic year and so our student life feature this month is aimed at assuaging any worries you might have and helping you make the best decision possible.

We have some great advice for you covering everything you might need to know from how to pick your housemates to legal advice. Meanwhile our news team have been hard at work to cover the latest stories. As the effects of the credit crunch which started in the American sub-prime mortgage market have spread to every facet of life, all over the world, we have a report on the collapse of Zavvi, perhaps the most student-oriented victim of the troubles so far.

During these troubled times it is inevitable that many, particularly those who have lost out due to the crunch, will cry foul and begin to question our society’s attachment to free trade and capitalism, and here at Erudition things are no different – our feature considers the argument for and against trade in all its forms, from the Fair Trade phenomena that ensures poor farmers a decent wage, through to the encouraging (and not-so-encouraging) consequences of China’s own brand of centrally-controlled capitalism.

Of course, as our old friends will know, we also pride ourselves on our entertainment section, and this month is no exception. We have reviews of the most recent films, books and music, and an article on the great Hunter S. Thompson and his “Gonzo” style of journalism. We also have the first ever magazine syndication of Huw “Lem” Davies’ hugely successful Bunny comic, an online offering that has spawned two books and a host of other merchandise, now gracing our pages with an exclusive episode.

And so with a sense of anticipation and excitement we are proud to present the first ever publication of Erudition – though don’t forget to check out our paper edition as well, coming soon to a University near you!

Welcome to Erudition.