Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 3. 1969.
In Salient 1 we had the sob story about how some poor writer was chucked out of the Public Relations Office of the Wellington City Corporation for his "association" with "Cock". (By the way, what is his association with Victoria that he should warrant front page headlines on your very first issue?)
Last week we had the smear campaign against some ex-student for voicing his opinions last year.
(That was a good way to start the article—"Criticism of the criteria employed to determine entry into the External Affairs Department has been made by Victoria University students." What students? Or was that reference to us, the students, to get you, the editor, off the hook in case P. J. Kelly decides to sue you for libel?)
If this is what we can expect from you for the remainder of 1969. (We notice too that at a recent meeting of the Publications Board, all seven of you, a motion was passed giving you "complete control over content and appearance" of Salient. Pity the Publications Officer wasn't there, or was it planned that way?)
We think that the best thing that could happen to Salient this year is that it should fold up and each student be given back his dollar.
R. W. Brookes. N. W. Byrch.
• Anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of journalistic ethics would consider it contrary to those principles to have anyone but the editor exercising ultimate control over the content and appearance of a newspaper.
Who am I to apologise for the absence of the Publications Officer from the meeting, but you will be delighted to know he saw nothing irregular in the re-affirmation of a principle (conveniently listed out of context by you) which has been inherent in the Press since it was first established.
But the alternative. Do you favour control over the editor? Censorship? Executive? To remain consistent I assume you would have no objection to the Government exercising formal control over the daily press?
I reject that, and if you consider it in a little more temperate light you will too.
I would refer to the editorial for reply to the remainder of your comments.—Ed.