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October 15, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Salient third at ASPAs ‘At least Critic didn’t win’ – News Ed

Described as “attention-grabbing multi-sourced journalism… in tune with its student readers,” Salient was judged third Best Publication at the Fairfax Media Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA) Awards last weekend behind Otago University’s Critic and Auckland’s Craccum.

Held at Massey Wellington and hosted by radio personality Sean Plunket, judges included journalists from Fairfax, the Listener, the New Zealand Herald, Metro, as well as various journalism academics and past student-publication staff. The event, sponsored by Fairfax Media, brought together thirteen student magazines from around the country.

Despite the disappointing overall placing, Salient still enjoyed successes in a number of other categories, including first place in Best Feature Content, second place in Best Education Series and third place in Best Photography.

News Editor Laura McQuillan was judged Best News Writer (Paid), with NZPA editor Nick Brown describing McQuillan’s work as “clear, hard-hitting reporting, without fear or favour.”

McQuillan says, “I was pleasantly surprised with my win – I mean, I know I’m awesome, but I’ve never had a certificate to prove it until now.”

Attributing part of her success to the VUWSA exec for “ensuring there was never a slow news week,” she added, “I owe Clelia Opie [former Acting Women’s Right’s Officer] big time, too – without her, I couldn’t have won.”

Michael Oliver placed first-equal in the Best Sports Writer category, and Feature Writer Tristan Egarr was judged second in Best Humour Content.

Salient editor Steve Nicoll is delighted by the results of the ASPAs.

“Having both best feature content and news was a score. I’m incredibly thankful for all of the Salient posse who made it happen,” says Nicoll.


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  1. ddd says:

    Must be the worst overall placing for at least three years… maybe more?

  2. Poisson Ivy says:

    Clearly the judges didn’t read much of Craccum, it’s been shit all year.

  3. ddd: As far as records show, Salient won twice, was second twice (this is over the space of four years). In the fifth year, it was third.

  4. Michael Oliver says:

    Not to swing a bat against my own team or anything, but I quite liked Critic this year. Had some interesting stuff in there.

  5. I actually liked Craccum quite a lot this year. It was nice and it felt nice also. Critic was good too. I think the glossy pages, or lack thereof, may be beginning to count against Salient.

  6. Adamm says:

    Come on Laura, the newsprint argument is bullshit. Just face it, your Editor is an out of touch idiot who couldn’t even get a proper job at a community paper – Salient was bloody lucky to get third place this year.

  7. Michael Oliver says:

    Not sure how “may be beginning to count against Salient” was read as “if our rag wasn’t printed on paper with the same consistency as 1-ply toilet paper, we would’ve cleaned fucking house,” but I won, so I don’t really care.

  8. Michael Oliver says:

    Even though I’m still mystified as to how I won, but oh well. Onwards and upwards for ’08.

  9. Evee says:

    This is a nice little vindication of everything I and some other people have been saying for the last months, I wish I’d put money on it. Still, you came third. That means you’re not the best, not the second best, but third. At least you have the first equal best sports columnist if that counts for anything, amirite? Thank you Salient and have a great summer! xo evee

  10. Michael Oliver says:

    Oh, Evee, you’ve misread the situation entirely. This, in fact, isn’t about Salient at rall — this is, in fact, the bookmark upon which I will revisit in thirty years time when penning the screenplay for my bio-pic “Professor Michael von Oliverstein and his Wonderful Birds,” to be directed by an aging Wes Anderson, and starring both the Owen brothers as alternating digital replicas of myself and my only son, front man of a Van Halen tribute band, Paris Jean Olivier, a man’s man.

    Evee’s contribution to Salient’s website over the past year will be symbolically represented by a four minute long sepia-toned montage depicting great works of art falling through a worm hole deep in uncharted space. Writing about the scene in her memoirs, Evee will begin describing the way in which watching Michaelangelo’s Statue of David break into a thousand pieces “brought on something resembling emotion,” but that her “cold, dark heart finds art inherent in the art of watching art destroy itself,” followed by her head promptly exploding like a piñata, leaving puddles of boiled sweeties waiting for her estranged relatives to find in three years time when they come calling about her attendance at the next family reunion.

  11. Evee says:

    uh oh looks like I touched a nerve…

  12. Michael Oliver says:

    Hardly — touching a nerve would involve an endless, explicit-filled diatribe that would’ve likely ended with something like “My dad could beat up your dad!”

    That above was just quality dunking by Professor Michael von Oliverstein.

  13. Michael Oliver says:

    (his wonderful birds are regenerating in their aviary, just fyi)

  14. Evee says:

    I find it funny how you don’t seem to be able to express your anger directly

  15. Michael Oliver says:

    You see, Evee, what I’ve found hilarious over the past year or so is how seriously people take Salient. Say for example, when people use words like “vindication” in an apparent attempt to demean the publication and “demoralise” those who have contributed, particularly when it’s obvious their disdain lies with only one or two people involved. Vindication! Third place! Ho ho, Steve’s got to be feeling like a cancer patient right now! Best news? Best features? First-equal sports? Fuck, who cares! Steve should probably just hang himself and spare us the indignity of having ever known his name in a free weekly student-run rag. Yes, vindication. Sweet vindication — it’s just, well, kinda sad really. And I’m a dickish enough of a guy to go out of his way to make fun of such people for it.

    The only thing that got under my skin this year was the amount of, shall we say, “debate” garnered by that Peri-what’s-his-face-go guy. We could’ve very well have used that page for a whole variety of other more thought-provoking things, but nope, we went for the shirt-stirring Radio Pacific host and his series of phoned-in diatribes that went around and around without achieving much of anything (kinda like our relationship, Evee). It wasn’t fair that there were students who wanted to volunteer, but felt that “getting attention” was apparently more important to Salient than getting as many Vic-flavoured points of view out there as possible, so they just didn’t bother. Whether that’s indicative of Salient’s editorial policy this year or just a sad insight student apathy, I have no idea, since either option is equally depressing, but I hope we never see another word from that unfortunate Rynd apologist in Salient ever again.

    But quite seriously, nearly every single post I’ve made on here has been written with tongue firmly in cheek. How anyone could construe “symbolically represented by a four minute long sepia-toned montage depicting great works of art falling through a worm hole deep in uncharted space,” as anything other than a ridiculous non sequitur, I have no idea. I mean, if I wanted to directly convey my anger, I’d launch a pseudonym and troll this website mercilessly from now until the end of time.

    But I’m too busy competing with the sports writer from AUT to worry about that.

  16. Btw before, I was joking about the newsprint thing. I think Chaff deserved a place this year fo shizzle, even though it felt like terribleness. Third place surprised even me.

  17. Evee says:

    Third place! Ho ho, Steve’s got to be feeling like a cancer patient right now!

    Oliver, nobody runs the risk of taking you seriously. Nobody even thinks you’re funny!

  18. Can’t we all try to get along?

  19. the rock says this says:

    man oliver shut up, you seem like a good guy but this is bollocks. pull yer head in

    evee wtf “you can’t express anger directly” you hide behind a pseudonym so wtf are you talking about? practice what you preach.

  20. Evee says:

    go back to wcw

  21. the rock says this says:


    you’re named for a pokemon so what the fuck

  22. Evee says:

    the rock didn’t say that

  23. the cock says this says:

    So which VUWSA/Salient loser is passing themselves off as the “rock”. Get over yourself and get a life. Cock.

  24. Honestly, I think Salient did very well at this year’s awards. One third place, two second places and three first places – in fact, only two other magazines received more awards overall (runner-up Best Publication Critic and runner-up Best Small Publication In Unison).

    Before you beat up on Steve et al., consider that the Best Publication award is judged separately and does not take into account other awards received. Winning that category demands a high calibre of content across the entire magazine, not just nominated writers. So one can hardly blame a single individual, unless you honestly believe student editors should routinely refuse to print people’s submissions.

    Again, congratulations Laura.

  25. Evee says:

    I disagree. Salient has usually scored quite highly at these awards and this is an all time low.

  26. rofflecopter says:

    Ha ha! A richly deserved failure! Hopefully salient will be better next year- the next ed will have to be trying to do worse than THIS.

  27. Michael Oliver says:

    Perigo to write a column about flogging Salient.

    And fuck off, rock, Evee is my best friend.

  28. aspa says:

    Look, tjhe best mag is not just about the best articles and news, it is also about the best design and layout, which at the beginning of the year was pretty crap, Itis also about where articles are placed and the general mix of the paper.

    And as far as being the best sports columnist, Oliver, you`re pretty average so dont get to pig headed about it. Lets face it, you won because the others were worse than you, not because you were better than them.

  29. Michael Oliver says:

    I actually came first equal with Chris Mathews who writes for AUT’s Debate magazine, and from what I’ve read he’s a very talented and entertaining writer. So, it’s actually an honour to be in his company.

    And by “worse than” you inversely mean “better than,” which means I – well, Chris and I – are pretty much awesome. Now man up and post with your real name next time, sweetie.

  30. Michael Oliver says:

    Oh, and thanks for that stunning insight into how an award for best publication gets judged. I mean, design? Layout? Shit oh dear, who’dve thunk it.

  31. aspa says:

    Ok Oliver, lets see how good your writing is…. le’ts just pick out the first paragraph of your last column as a sample

    I’m pulling this column together less than two hours after the All Blacks (in their Earl Grey strip) bid au revoir to the 2007 Rugby World Cup. My fingers are busy flicking from message board to message board; my ears are tensing up at the crackles and spits emanating from Radio Sport; my mind is hopping between thoughts of disbelief and shear embarrassment – it’s a sensory bonanza, and one of which I really could have done without.

    spot the spelling error. Count the number of words and punctuation marks in the second sentence. Oh dear. In just the first paragraph…..who’dve thunk…

  32. Michael Oliver says:

    hey cool, grade-a internet detective work. colour me burned

    aspa sitting at home in the flat, stretching his arms, thinking “Heh heh, Oliver’s nailed to the cross now.”

  33. Michael Oliver says:

    I’m going to be disappointed if this is really an Evee apologist, since Evee and I are friends.

  34. Sterlo says:

    eh sports and beer were proberly two of the more decent columns this year . beer column doesnt get the praise it deserves tho. top column every time it was in there.

    dunno much about design and layout but always thought the top 5 and that should always be at the front,, light hearted is the best way to kick off salient

    problem with a lot of colums this year was they were too short. youd be getting into one then it’d be abruptly cut off, probably due to word count or editing. liked the two online chicks too cos they were startin to do some decent stuff by the end of the year as well.

    but yeh, those who won prob did deserve it,, but eh student media, important stuff

  35. aspa – can you please stop the hate? It brings me down.

  36. aspa says:

    But quite seriously, nearly every single post I’ve made on here has been written with tongue firmly in cheek,
    said Oliver

    Apart from this one, with head firmly up arse…

    hey cool, grade-a internet detective work. colour me burned

    aspa sitting at home in the flat, stretching his arms, thinking “Heh heh, Oliver’s nailed to the cross now.”

  37. aspa says: hate intended, of course. wont bring you down..

  38. Richard Donaldson says:

    Well, I for one think the individual accolades collected by Salient’s writers have been well deserved. News was always sharp, especially since this year was such a clusterfuck, given the whole A-Team thing. Sports was good, light hearted and irreverent. Maybe a little heavy on the rugby side of things, but there was a world c up so whatchu expect. And at least Oliver’s got the stones to put his name out here and take the shit he gets, aspa, even tho he probably should just ignore shit stirrers like you. What was the other one, oh yeah, feature content. did the judges say what features were up there? be interesting to see if the WINZ one was considered.

    so yeah, congrats guys. anyone who can sprout out through the garden of shit that was this year’s editorial vision deserves a medal for not losing their fucking minds.

  39. Evee says:

    garden of shit that was this year’s editorial vision

  40. ASPAs organiser says:

    Richard: The WINZ article was submitted but received no attention or comments from the judges. The other two features entered were Robert Addison’s ‘Get rich quick’ and Nicola Kean’s ‘WRO’ piece. They were both given very favourable comments.

  41. Gloomspawn says:


    the minions rise… one by one they arrive… carrying the torches of the internet

    … the arrival of the spawn… of gloom. the man who will never abhor the gore, he who won’t settle for anything less than metal, the man who in crust they will trust

    the rise of gloomspawn is upon you salient. LET HIM SPEAK

    for i am gloomspawn, master of the doublekick, dwelling in a midst of my minions puddles of hate rain. the molasses of a colasses the fire that burns within. i ride from hell on the back of a horse named death wielding the swords of my internet connection to hell

    curses upon all who challenge me

    laura, writer of news……….. the latest report in from dante is that the fires are rising in the house of spawn

    oliver, writer of sport……….. my sport is gore, converting guitar solos into screeches of pure evil.

    feature writers……… what is your feature……..but to feature the screeches of damsels as i raid the castles of innocence on the back of a wolf named forever

    i am Gloomspawn the Mus, Master of Crust. forever.

  42. Nick Archer says:

    “Richard: The WINZ article was submitted but received no attention or comments from the judges. The other two features entered were Robert Addison’s ‘Get rich quick’ and Nicola Kean’s ‘WRO’ piece. They were both given very favourable comments.”

    Wrong, WINZ article wasn’t submitted ‘A Bridge Too Far? Eric Steel’s Suicide Film’ by Duncan McKinlay was submitted instead from Issue 14 along with other content for other categories…

  43. Michael Oliver says:

    If you think 314 is bad, you should see Yami at GFC.

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