Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 15. August 4, 1971
Craccum Editor Resigns
Craccum Editor Resigns
On Thursday July 29th Stephen Chan, Editor of Craccum, announced his resignation in protest against executive and Craccum administration board interference in the running of Craccum. At the beginning of the year Stephen stated that he could put out a good quality newspaper with an $11000 budget, a reasonable one with $9000, and just get by with $8000. He was granted $7000 ($800 more than Salient, which serves 3/5 the population of Auckland University).
As could be expected with such an inadequate budget the publication of sixteen page editions put Craccum's finances into the red and at the beginning of the second term Stephen was directed to publish twelve pages only. The financial instability of the paper plus the interference of local student bureaucrats forced Stephen to involve himself in a continuing struggle to keep the paper going, to the detriment of his proper editorial responsibilities. The paper was being subjected to ludicrous limitations—a sixteen page issue was only permitted if advertising receipts reached $275. Since any week this would only become apparent by Thursday or Friday it was impossible to plan the paper properly (hence the appearance of the two furry Freak Brothers cartoons ripped off from Salient in Stephen's second to last issue).
Out of a sense of frustration with the whole scene, Stephen officially resigned under the terms of his contract (which obliged him to give three issues' notice). This course of action was probably precipitated by the administration board's insistence on Stephen's adhering to the page limitations for his special July Mobilisation issue, but after consideration of the moral issues behind the Mobe the board relented and generously dropped the minimum ad receipt figure to $250 (Stephen with $160 of advertising and without publication officer John Shennan's permission went ahead and published sixteen pages regardless).
This and Stephen's announcement that the final issues done under his contract would also be sixteen page publications prompted Shennan to move that Stephen's contract be terminated immediately "by mutual agreement"—carried five to four with Stephen abstaining. In solidarity with Stephen the entire staff of Craccum, with the exception of the technical editor (who is under contract) and the advertising manager, have withdrawn their services until August 29th when the new executive which then takes office will hopefully agree to staff demands for reinstatement of sixteen page Craccums until the end of the year, an additional grant to the paper to ensure the above, an end to the disruptive policy of dictating issue sizes by advertising receipts which fluctuate from week to week, an end to attacks on the paper by student bureaucrats.
The staff feel that there is a need for a good quality student weekly publication to offset the establishment newsmedia and maintain that the production of a consistently good newspaper is virtually impossible given the small budget at present alloted. Auckland students will have to decide sometime whether they want this type of paper or some sort of glorified newsheet. Until now they have been getting the former on the budget of the latter but only because of the hard work of the Craccum editor and staff members. This cannot continue indefinitely under the conditions existing at present—a basic revaluation of the role of a student newspaper and the means of producing it is long overdue in Auckland.