From paper to pixels
Rostra Economica was founded in May 1953 as the new magazine of the faculty study association (SEF) of the faculty of economics at the University of Amsterdam. Its formal purpose was to provide current information and to publish, mostly, academic articles. However, the magazine also served as a means for students to reflect on the faculty. Through contributions by professors it connected the academic community at the faculty. Over time, Rostra Economica became an important part of the SEF, and a burden on the budget of the association. At one point, Rostra Economica represented over 90% of its budget.
To make the magazine financially sustainable, economics students of the University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam decided to cooperate. In 1965, at its 52nd edition, the magazine was renamed Rostra Economica Amstelodamensis, now published for both universities in Amsterdam. The marriage did not last long. In 1968, the magazine was discontinued after an argument between the SEF and the editorial board on the future cooperation with the VU. An attempt to start over was funded by the University of Amsterdam. The magazine, now called Rostra, started publishing again in 1970. It was a short magazine, hardly four pages long, and not at all appealing to students at the faculty.
It seemed the magazine had lost its right of existence. The new editorial board of 1972 did not agree with that notion. With a new layout and renewed enthusiasm to be more than an announcement bulletin for the SEF, the magazine gained new life. Topics were increasingly less academic and focused more on current affairs in economics and at the university. In 1981, the magazine celebrated its 100th edition. The magazine was again named Rostra Economica in 1986, a name it has retained until now. Under its new (and old) name, the magazine pushed on towards its 200th edition in 1994 and its 50th birthday in 2003. The magazine featured more and more interviews with key figures in economics and politics, from Nout Wellink to Mark Rutte. Although the history of Rostra Economica has been vibrant to say the least, the magazine has gone through some of its biggest changes in the last 5 years. In 2010, Rostra Economica was published in English for the first time.
Recent changes in the media landscape did not pass by for Rostra Economica unnoticed either. When the magazine arrived at its 300th edition in 2014, it was clear that the future of the magazine is online. This academic year, Rostra Economica launched its new website, providing more content at a higher frequency. It is by no means the final destination of the magazine, as it continues to adapt to any challenges that the future brings. However, throughout the history of the magazine, there has been one constant. Rostra Economica is made by and for economics and business students, and it will continue to do that, regardless of the platform. It is a magazine with a rich history and a bright future ahead.
The archive of old editions is found here on Issuu.