Vic students are disappointed after a three-week absence of the Dominion Post on campus is set to be the new status quo. Fairfax has officially stopped its distribution of free daily newspapers to Victoria University campuses during term time.
Although the Dom Post has traditionally been “donated” to impoverished students, following a general economic downturn in print media students will now be expected to access their beloved quizzes and crosswords online instead.
Fairfax’s marketing manager Paul Williams told Salient that the company hoped it had “encouraged a healthy appetite in the consumption of quality news amongst students” during its 10-year deal with the University—presumably to counteract certain other corrupting paper-based influences on campus—but confirmed that the decision had indeed been made to “call time on the newspaper partnership”.
According to a spokesperson from the University, its long-standing arrangement with Fairfax ended after the company failed to “offer the same benefits to Victoria for the financial investment required” and there are currently no replacement plans.
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VUWSA will not be replacing the papers either, as the cost is prohibitive. VUWSA President Rick Zwaan told Salient the cost, at face value, of the 350,000 papers delivered to campuses last year would be more than VUWSA’s entire operational budget, which isn’t really saying much.
The University says that students can still gain access to news online either via their own devices or one of the computers on campus, conveniently omitting to mention a certain other news source that springs to mind.
Nonetheless, Zwaan accepted that students enjoyed reading a physical paper.
In response to the paper’s absence, some students on social media have claimed they want to “retract their compulsory student levy”. Others suggest “starting a riot”.
One student Salient spoke to, Jane, claimed taking away “an accessible practical form of news” would only exacerbate claims of “how ignorant youth are”. Others admitted they didn’t read the paper and felt it was an unnecessary expense.
Zwaan blames former ACT MP Heather Roy for ushering through Voluntary Student Membership in 2011, which resulted in decreased funds to spend on things like papers. Zwaan then picked up a whip, walked over to a nearby dead horse, and began to flog it repeatedly.
Salient would like to remind students that we’ll always be here, supplying you with news about weed and wanking that the Dom never would.