The objective of this paper is to consider the mapping of the national question in focus of periodical press, referring to the fact that the press not only served as a mirror of the events unfolding at the University in 1905, but it acted as an important lever of influence on the public opinion and the University world, and in this sense acted as a factor of the processes unfolding within the University. The source base of this research was made up of materials published in St. Petersburg newspapers that represented various political trends: “Birzhevye vedomosti” (“Stock exchange news”), “Novoe vremja” (“New time”), “Russkie vedomosti” (“Russian statements”), “Peterburgskij listok” (“St Petersburg sheet”), “Svet” (“Light”). This allowed us to reveal how various political forces related to the national movement of students and what importance they attached to it. The authors turned to the method of content analysis in order to collect data on the events connected with St. Petersburg University, its professors, and students. The research suggests that the beginning of the First Russian revolution in 1905 was a catalyst for the growth of activity and radicalization of the national movement among the students of St. Petersburg University. In the conditions of the general revolutionary rise in the whole Empire, various national and political preferences and a system of self-identification in relation to the Empire and the Russian liberation movement were formed among the national student communities. The right-wing press, seeing national minorities as a potential threat to the monarchy, used news stories about the activity of national student associations as an additional opportunity to discredit them. The liberal press, also not missing such events, thus promoted national movements, considering them as an important element of liberalization. Thus, it promoted their institutionalization and self-identification of national elites.