Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 12. September 6, 1954
"Salient"—Why and What
"Salient"—Why and What
A University paper should never adhere to the tenets of "ethical" journalism and in doing so be a slick reproduction of the commercial Press. The university paper should never adhere to these tenets: not out of a spirit of sheer cussedness, but because the student paper is the last remnant of the much-vaunted principle of the freedom of the Press, and as such should look ever outwards searching for fresh fields.
It must be a vehicle to every shade of opinion. It should hold nothing sacred, and above all, be representative of no group or sect, religious or political creed. It cannot be a newspaper in the accepted sense of the word, since it appears with monotonous irregularity and news grows "cold" very quickly.
It must be free be praise that which it deems praise-worthy or condemn that which is ridiculous in our life; and there is surely unlimited scope for the latter function.
The proper domain of a student paper is not in the realm of news coverage but in the realm of thought and opinion. I make no apologies for reducing the amount of space available for club reports: they are not the be-all and end-all of the university: the university represents the only sphere of higher learning in the country, and it has a strict duty to foster individual and sound thought. It should not be construed from this that a University paper should be a paragon of objective integrity. It is not now and I hope it will never be so.
The role of Editor, therefore, is of the utmost importance. It is he who must introduce the greater part of discussion and controversy but above all he must have something to say. We have now reached the state of affairs where he, like it or not, is the paper. To do his job efficiently he must not be restricted in any way. His paper, let it be remembered, is your paper. He promotes the discussion—you discuss it. If you do not discuss it, you are wasting your time here.
The freedom on which it is based makes the student paper your paper. If you decry it, you decry yourselves. Underneath it all, it is yours to make or break.