The cover of Salient magazine 11 April 2005
|Editors||Rachel Trow and Kirsty Frame|
|News Editor||Te Aorewa Rolleston and Finn Blackwell|
|Frequency||Weekly (during non-summer trimesters) resulting in 25 issues annually|
|Company||Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association|
|Based in||Wellington, New Zealand|
Salient is the weekly students' magazine of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Salient was established in 1938and originally published in newspaper format, but is now published as a magazine. Salient's style and editorial position can change from year to year due to changes in editors. However, the magazine has generally taken a left-wing stance.
The Salient editor-in-chief is an employee of VUWSA operating under a charter that grants editorial independence. The editor is appointed and employed under a fixed term contract that covers roughly the beginning to end of the academic year. Previous involvement with the magazine is not a prerequisite for applicants, although most have had some role at Salient prior to their editorship. At various times in Salient's history, and consistently since 2011, the editorship has been shared between two people.
Notable past editors include former Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, editor of Metro magazine Simon Wilson, independent publisher Roger Steele (NZOM),Queen's Counsel Hugh Rennie, independent investigative writers such as David Harcourt and New Zealand Listener writer Toby Manhire.
Salient news is predominately focused on student issues, the students' association, and the university itself. However, Salient has also reported on national and international items outside of "student" issues. For instance there was significant coverage of the Iraq invasion in 2003. Previous editors include Sophie Boot (2014), Chris McIntyre (2013), Stella Blake-Kelly and Hugo McKinnon (2011), Molly McCarthy (2010), Michael Oliver (2009), Seonah Choi (2008), Laura McQuillan (2007), Nicola Kean (2006), and Keith Ng (2004–2005).
Salient is a member of the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA), which has intermittently had a press gallery journalist in the New Zealand House of Representatives. The current press gallery representative is Annabel McCarthy. [ non-primary source needed ]
Salient employs a full-time designer who is responsible for the look of the magazine. Because the designer is typically employed for only a one-year term, the visual aesthetic of the magazine can change significantly from year to year.
Salient has been a home to a number of comics and cartoons, and they traditionally have their place on the last page of the magazine. Past comics such as ASCII and Grant Buist's Brunswick have won critical awards, with ASCII winning an Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA) award in 2005.Previous comics have included Being Blind, Man, ASCII (originally published in Waikato University's Nexus' magazine'), Newtown Ghetto Anger, The Chronicle, Drunk Duck, Uni Life, Super Academic Friends, The Academic Idol Comic, and G33K by Sparx.
As well as publishing in print, Salient operates a frequently updated website. In 2013, the Salient website was redeveloped, and won the award for best website at the ASPAs.Salient publishes an email newsletter called 'Sincerely Salient', including news round-ups, local events, and feature highlights.
Salient has a video production arm called 'Salient TV', the only department dedicated to video content from any student media publication in New Zealand. Salient TV videos include interviews, comedy sketches, and other miscellaneous content that focuses on student interests.Salient TV videos are primarily found on the magazine's Facebook page.
First air date
Salient FM, known as VBC until 2015, was a non-profit station which operated at Victoria University of Wellington from 2007-2019.It took the place of Radio Active as the university's campus-based and student-oriented radio station. It was funded by the university and VUWSA through the budget allocated for Salient, and also had advertisers and sponsors.
In October 2013, VUWSA held a referendum asking whether it should cease funding the station from 2014 after a student moved a motion requesting a referendum at VUWSA's AGM.Out of the 2,105 votes cast on the question, 61 percent favoured continuing to fund the VBC.
As of May 2014, VUWSA President Sonya Clark had been made a trustee of the defunct VBC Trust in order to wind it down, so that VUWSA could take control of the station. The Trust owed IRD about $3,000 in unpaid tax, which Clark said VUWSA intended to pay. The 2014 Salient editors expressed an interest in transforming the VBC into "Salient Radio".In 2015, the station was rebranded Salient FM.
Salient FM had a diverse programme targeted at Victoria University of Wellington students. Genres of alternative, electronic, and hip-hop music were most commonly broadcast. The station also heavily encouraged Wellingtonian and New Zealand musical acts. The station also hosted a number of politics and current affairs focused shows–notably the Young Matt Show and Bandwagon Radio–that discussed issues and topics salient to VUW students.
In December 2019, Salient FM was shut down following a decision from the VUWSA CEO Matthew Tucker. Full reasoning behind the Salient FMs discontinuation was not made public. In response to this, an Official Investigation Act request was filed to investigate if cutting the station was unconstitutional. Salient FM's two editors Jazz Kane and Nav Nair commented "We're pretty confident that it is entirely unconstitutional".
This section needs expansionwith: information about the early history of the magazine. You can help by adding to it.(February 2014)
The student magazine of Victoria University of Wellington has been published under a number of different titles since the early twentieth century: Spike (1902–1964), Smad (1930–1937), and finally Salient (1938–).
Salient was originally published in newspaper format, but is now published as a magazine and online.
Salient has participated in the ASPA Student Media Awards since their inception in 2003. The magazine dominated the first two years of the awards winning amongst other categories Best Publication in 2003 and 2004. Otago's Critic is generally seen as Salient's strongest competition and in 2005 turned the tables, sweeping a number of categories including Best Publication with Salient coming second. Critic won Best Publication again in 2006 and Salient came second.
In 2009, Salient won the award for Best Publication. Salient dominated these awards with five first places and eight other placings.In 2011, Salient also won best publication. However, in 2010, 2012 and 2013 Salient was runner-up in best publication to Critic.
In 1995 there was controversy surrounding the editor Vic Waghorn, such that a Special General Meeting of VUWSA was called in June to dismiss her from the role. The motion to dismiss Waghorn at the meeting was soundly defeated 250 to 3, but it was not the end of the matter. Personal grievances and accusations she had misappropriated funds led to her being suspended in September by the VUWSA Executive. In response, Waghorn managed to change the cover of the final issue of Salient "to a cartoon depiction of cunnilingus captioned 'suck it hard'". Most of the covers were removed before release however.
The affair led to a change to the VUWSA constitution so that it would be harder to dismiss a Salient editor in the future.
In September 2005, the Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University obtained a court injunction to prevent an issue of Salient from being distributed– thought to be the first time in the magazine's history this has happened. The issue of Salient contained information obtained from leaked University Council documents with details about possible university fee increases of 5 to 10 percent. The controversy made national media, with several items on the television news. The university failed to realise that information was put on to the ASPA newswire, hence the information was published in several other student magazines and on the internet. Distribution of Salient was eventually allowed, four days late after Salient and the university reached an out-of-court settlement. The documents were returned to the university, reportedly with pictures of male genitalia drawn over them.
In April 2006, Salient published a short piece which put "Chinese", along with animals like poisonous snakes and penguins, in a list of "top five species we should be wary of". The supposed "joke" upset the Chinese community and caused huge protests from both Chinese students and the Chinese Embassy. Accused of being blatantly racist, editor James Robinson apologised, saying "It was a ridiculous jab that was honestly so stupid I didn't even think twice about it." However, he argued people who were offended had misinterpreted it: "We put 'the Chinese' between 'penguins' and 'very poisonous snakes' on the list, and people somehow took it seriously." He also defended his right to publish it, saying "It's not hate speech or inciting violence against the Chinese race. It would be a dangerous precedent to come out and say, 'Sorry, we were totally out of our minds to print such a thing'."
In May 2008, Salient published a feature article concerning the rise of China as a new world superpower. To promote this article the cover that week depicted a naked, yet to be identified, Salient staffer draped in a Chinese flag, with Hu Jintao's face photoshopped onto their own. The cover invoked a strong reaction from the Wellington Chinese community, with pro-China students removing the magazine from distribution at the University's Karori Campus. Following this disruption, the Chinese Students' Association of Victoria University presented a petition of 133 signatures calling for an apology. To date, Salient has not apologised. [ citation needed ]Responses from the Chinese community were mixed, with some commentators mentioning that this controversial cover (in conjunction with the 2006 satirical comparison of Chinese to dangerous animals) resulted in a possible ban on Salient writers travelling to China.
In July 2009, Salient editor Jackson Wood courted controversy by announcing the "Lundy 500", an event whereby "teams of vehicles ... [would] travel from Petone to Palmerston North as convicted double murderer Mark Lundy did in 2000, before murdering wife Christine and daughter Amber, according to the prosecution at his 2002 trial." Participants were tasked with doing the trip in 68 minutes or less, the same time Lundy is argued to have driven the distance. Wood argued that the "event was designed to draw attention to some of the inconsistencies in the New Zealand legal system", and emphasised that he wasn't encouraging anyone to break the law.However, the proposed event was harshly criticised in the media, and on 2 August, it was announced that the event was to be cancelled. Wood apologised to the Lundy family and wrote that: "He acknowledged that their viewpoints were not adequately taken into account before the event was announced on Friday, and that there were other ways for this point to be communicated".
A similar re-enactment of the travel involved in the Lundy case, dubbed the "Lundy Three Hundy" was proposed in 2013 by Nic Miller. It was likewise criticised in the media, with Mathew Grocott writing that "this event should not go ahead and if those involved have any human decency then it won't go ahead."
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