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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 13 June 18, 1968

Isolation Is The Wrong Policy

page 3

Isolation Is The Wrong Policy

"Students could become a very powerful pressure group in this country, but they will have to work at it," said Mr Robin Bromby of the Sunday Times.

The editors of newspapers will respect you most if you prove that you are a source of responsible news and comment."

Speaking to the Student Leader Seminar on the relationship between Students' Associations and the news media, he said: "In speaking to the executives of various papers I have found they think students tend to be inward-looking.

"They feel you should be interested in what goes on outside the Universities. Students' newspapers are sympiomatic of this insularity.

"When reading some student newspapers it is difficult to remember there is a world outside the campus. This annoys and infuriates newspaper people and the public.

"People in the press usually have not been anywhere near a University," he said, "and it is typical of their attitude when they refer to students as 'smart alecks'."

"I think that students should come out on matters outside the University," said Mr Bromby. When Ross Mountain spoke on the immigration issue last year the press was willing to listen to what students had to say.

"If students want to make any headway they ought to take interest in issues such as town-planning, immigration and economy," he said.

"By widening your interests you improve your image as a responsible pressure group and be more able to greatly influence issues closer to you—the state of hostels, fees, academic staffing and so on.

"Students should integrate themselves more into the community. They are at the moment regarded by much of the public as a sector apart.

"By becoming part of the community and taking an interest in community issues they will have far more of the community behind them."

The press was perhaps the greatest medium for students to use in their role as a pressure group. "I don't think it is in your best interests to throw stones at the newspapers in this country.

"There is barely an issue of Salient that doesn't make comments about newspapers. One column frequently makes unintelligent comments about them.

"I am not saying you should not criticise them. In fact I think they all respond favourably to reasoned criticism.

"But I don't think you will get anywhere by student newspapers printing ill-informed pieces about the press.

"It's a matter of rethinking your attitude to the press. If the press cares the people care.

"You have got to make the press interested in student affairs and student opinions on national issues."

Close-up photograph of man in suit