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October 16, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Critic Wins Again; Salient Drowns Sorrows; Yells Things

Salient put on a respectable showing at last weekend’s Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA) awards, winning four awards but failing to wrest the best publication prize from Otago’s Critic.

Feature writer Nicholas Holm was awarded first place in the best humour writer category, and responded to audience taunts to tell a joke by saying “Craccum: best publication” at the ceremony. He later apologised. “It’s an odd feeling to be officially funny,” he says.

Ben Fraser, Salient Designer, was placed first equal in the design category, finally ending a Salient drought in the category. Reluctant to give a quote, after being hounded he admitted he was “happy with first equal”.

Salient also won the feature content and education series categories. “Oh, you know, just something pretty to put on the mantle piece,” says editor James Robinson.

Newswriter Laura McQuillan and Music co-Editor Beatrice Turner were both placed second in the volunteer news writing and review categories respectively. Salient also received two third placings, in the best editorial and best paid news writer categories.

However, Salient narrowly missed out on the top spot in the best publication category, with Critic winning for a second year in a row.

Best publication judge Michael Appleton found it hard to judge between Salient and Critic. “All new student magazine editors would do well to take a good look at this year’s Critic and Salient and learn what made them a cut above the rest,” he says.

Another judge, Olivia Kember, who previously worked for the canned youth news programme Flipside, says Salient “strikes me as somewhat self-important. There is a lack of humour and also of humility. Laugh at yourselves a bit more. It’ll make you more attractive.” A Google search also reveals that Kember occasionally works for Sunday magazine.

Critic Editor John Ong says he “always knew we were better than Salient at karaoke, but it turns out we might be better at print journalism in the eyes of TV reporters.”

However, Robinson is proud of his team. “I think we did very well. The results reflect the continuing strength of the student media, and the fact that Critic won with a Chinese editor is evidence of a growing Chinese conspiracy in this country,” he says.

Ong’s response to the accusation of a Chinese conspiracy was cagey. “Obviously I’d have to deny that. I might get into trouble for saying something.”

Salient would like to thank The Listener for their generous sponsorship of the awards.

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About the Author ()

Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

Comments (9)

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  1. Greg says:

    Nicola, I have a quick question for you. The competition for “best paid news writer” seems to be kinda set up against Salient In Salient the position is news editor, and I’m wondering how many other magazines have that position, or do most of them have paid news writers? In other words, does Salient require the paid news person to do work (editing) that the other magazines’ paid news person does not do? Because if so, then really there is a bias there against Salient winning that title.

  2. Lucy says:

    I can attempt to answer that. In my much-missed student media days at another university, I was news editor. That meant, in theory, that I got to edit news that, in theory, was submitted by volunteers or that I’d been given a tip on. In reality, of course, I did very little editing and more writing because very little got sent to me (due largely to a culture of student apathy and people being more interested in feature writing). Therefore, I was entered in the ASPAs as a News Writer (Paid) because, as News Editor, you have to reasonably expect that you’ll be doing a fair whack of writing. Most, if not all, the student rags have one paid news writer, who will likely as not really be the News Editor, even if that isn’t their official title.

  3. Nicola Kean says:

    Most of the entries in the category were News Editors – for example Matt Russell from Chaff who came second. However, the winner John Hartevelt from Critic is a paid news writer in the truest sense of the word. It’s not really biased.

  4. Cunt is Just a Word says:

    can someone explin the photos of the Salient crew in the back. Is it one of those, before and after things?

  5. News Flash says:

    James Robinson is “cunt is just a word”.

  6. blogette says:

    does anyone kknow who i am?

  7. While, hey – yeah, I agree that cunt is just a word, it is not my pseudonym. I like my name.

    The ASPA trip is a before and after thingy.

    Shoulda labelled it.

  8. Nicola Kean says:

    And here I was thinking it was just an attempt to mock me publicly with embarrassing photos. Whatever

  9. Belated congratulations on that Best Title, Nicola…

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