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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 15. 1972

Earwig Lives

Earwig Lives

"The obscene, seductive Earwig Magazine has been turned away by every web-offset printer in the North Island. Web offset is the only printing process by which a magazine can be produced cheaply, and as "alternative" papers exist on a marginal budget they are vulnerable to any change of policy by press owners. The myth we call "Freedom of Speech" is controlled by a small handful of businessmen. It remains a matter for speculation why serious printing difficulties didn't exist before the Dan Riddiford/Wellington Publishing Company/Dominion/Sunday Times complex took over the Waikato Times/ East Waikato Publishing Co and our erstwhile printers, the Morrinsville Star. The Star management had always been tolerably liberal - they got their bills paid and generally did their work without asking questions.

We had a choice between extinction and doing our own printing ... so a week ago we bought our own press. This won't save us any money and involves a step back to the mechanical stoneage - we have to set up and operate complex photographic equipment, plate-making gear, collate by hand 60,000 sheets of paper, staple and finally trim 5,000 magazines.

The first home grown issue will be our slowest and won't be circulating before the end of June. Later issues should be more frequent and regular.

The only consolation is that what we lose in efficiency we gain in freedom. For once we won't have to negotiate with dusty brained capitalists as to what they will condescend to print. We also hope to be able to assist anyone else who becomes victim of a printers' blockade.

Meanwhile anyone who can offer technical or financial aid can contact us at 10 Norfolk St, Auckland 2 ph. 768046.