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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 12. 5 August 1970

Monthly Focus Recommended for Next Year

page 7

Monthly Focus Recommended for Next Year

The SRC has adopted, in an amended form, the Focus Administration Board's recommendation to NZUSA for a monthly Focus in 1971.

The Board's recommendation reads as follows: That NZUSA approve the monthly publication from February 1971 of Focus in folded tabloid format, professionally produced and vigorously promoted.

At an SRC meeting on Monday, President Margaret Bryson moved that VUWSA approve monthly publication from February 1971 of Focus in folded tabloid format. An amendment to the motion was then moved Harcourt/seconded Grocott in which it was proposed to add the words "semi-professionally produced and vigorously promoted."

In debate on this amendment. Messrs Harcourt and Grocott and Charles Draper spoke on the differing merits of a professional' as opposed to a 'semi-professional' Focus. Mr Draper explained that the Focus Administration Board's recommendation for a 'professional' Focus involved a payment of $4000 to the Editor and $400 per issue for contributors' fees.

The present budget for Focus involves the payment of $100 per issue to the Editor (for six issues) and $280 per issue for contributors' fees. These fees include both payments to writers and payments to photographers.

Mr Draper said that he saw Focus in terms of the objectives outlined in the Administration Board's report to NZUSA. There, the magazine is said to have as its objectives the provision of "a liberal form of communication for 'thinking' New Zealanders": the bridging of "the gap in understanding between the universities and society'; the promotion of "high standards of honest, responsible journalism."

Mr Grocott said that he objected to the term 'semi-professional' and 'professional' but as these were the terms of the Administration Board's report he would use them in the discussion. He said that he had become convinced that, whatever New Zealand's need for "a magazine of independent comment", students must ask themselves whether the magazine Which the Administration Board had proposed be developed was in fact the kind of magazine they really wanted.

Mr Harcourt said that the 'professional' Focus would be primarily aimed at members of the public, with students as a secondary group. However. Focus should, he said be a student magazine, concerned with matters of interest to students and with a marked degree of student involvement in its production.

There was no reason whatsoever why such a magazine could not be objective, balanced and intelligent, and therefore have appeal to the wider community. Above all he said. Focus should be commenting on and investigating social issues in a lively way.

The question of whether Focus should be 'professionally' or 'semi-professionally' produced in 1971 will be discussed in a special four-hour session in National Commission at Winter Council Paul Grocott will not, as is usually the case, be in the chair for this particular session as constituents felt that he should be given a full opportunity to express his point of view.