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May 25, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Editorial (two point oh)


A lot of people have asked the simple question: “Why an online issue?”

Firstly, Salient has a grand website. Catch has won heaps of design awards for the amazing site that they have put together and was nominated for Best Website at the Qantas Media Awards. It is simply a really wicked website that is easy to use, sexy to look at and has lots of interesting content for you to read.

Secondly, it is far more interactive than the paper copy. If you don’t like a story, if you hold an opposing view, if you just want to comment on how good or bad it is or even add more information, you can do so straight away. You can get into arguments and discussions on the site in a way that would take semesters through the letters pages. It is about freedom of speech and association. Use it wisely though.

Thirdly, and yes, as some of you have pointed out, it does cost money to print the magazine. Each week it costs nearly $6000—or just under a dollar for every copy we get printed—to get you the magazine. We can put the magazine online for less than $200.

Fourthly, there were budget cuts to Salient at the start of this year by the VUWSA exec. About 6% of the 2008 budget went. So there have been austerity measures. This is one of them. But it is also designed to help us create more revenue. If more of you are visiting our website—returning, commenting, playing around—that drives our hits up, which in turn means we become a better and more enticing platform for advertising.

It’s not like many of you don’t use the internet at all. So add us to your RSS or bookmark us. Come back. We’ve put a lot of work into making this pretty cool. Hope you enjoy.

Best thing about this is that if you don’t agree with me, you can tell me right now. Just comment below.


About the Author ()

The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

Comments (19)

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  1. Pikachu says:

    Oh that’s rad. I’m finding it hard to stealthily conceal this giant PC inside my lecture notes though. Where’s this week’s blind date by the way?

    P.S. Santa isn’t real.

  2. Jackson Wood says:


    Reality shattered…

    Blind date will be in the print version. It is bi-weekly.

  3. (Unemployed) Workers Party says:

    This is a conspiracy to make someone at the printers lose their job! We hereby condemn your actions and call for a mass revolt of students to burn down the Salient office.

    Ps. Could one of you bring the lighter fluid and the other one the camera please.

  4. Ayden says:

    Yeap, I like the interaction aspect of it.

  5. Superior Mind says:

    Paradox. I can no longer read Salient while waiting in line for a computer to read Salient on.

    That’s a paradox right? Fuck I don’t know…

  6. Superior Mind says:

    Okay I’ve given this some thought. Kind of. Either way this is the longest comment I’ve posted so far and I may be a tad drunk.

    So budget cuts are a bitch, that’s very true but the fact remains that a printed magazine is so much better than a website. Being a closet egotistical fuckhead means I get a big thrill about seeing my “name” in print each week. The internet doesn’t deliver that. I mean Hell; I can just type my name a hundred times in MS Word or fuck around on my Facebook page if I want to see my name on a computer screen. Sure the thrill’s there but it’s just not the same.

    The current printing costs are apparently $6000 a week according to a bog post late last year. This means over a month, (four weeks,) the magazine printing costs are $24,000. With every second week now costing around $200 this is brought down to $12,400, a considerable saving of $11,600.

    Now I’m not going to get into economics because I failed sixth form economics, (okay I didn’t fail but they didn’t let me into seventh form economics either,) but I assume that printing costs have gone up a bit since last year. The other significant cost difference from last year is the 6% reduction of Salient’s budget which is a bullshit move in my honest opinion but whatever. Seeing as we are also in a recession advertisers aren’t spending as much, (fucking cheapskates.) However I am hoping that the powers that be still considered the Salient budget sufficient to at least get the magazine out.

    Now, this idea of having the internet version every two weeks seems a pretty quick occurrence. I’m just saying that the first I had heard of it was last week. I’m fully prepared to admit to being ignorant but I see it as being almost an emergency move so I’m guessing that with the budget cuts it was suddenly revealed that Salient could no longer have 24 issues a year. Either way I understand how cuts need to be made and with a sudden $11,600 reduction of cost with everyone still getting the same content I’d say “publishing” everything on the website is a pretty good idea.

    But this brings me back to the fact that it’s NICE to have a magazine in your hand. It gives a certain legitimacy to a publication. This also brings me to the realisation that in these tough times for Salient there’s a lot of waste going on. I’ll admit to grabbing a second copy every now and then because I left the one I already had at home and I also see discarded magazines lying about the place. I also see times where not all the copies of Salient have been taken. What I’m saying is why not reduce the number of copies? Yes. It took me this long to just say that.

    Reduce, reuse and recycle. How many people actually keep their magazine? How many throw it away or abandon it in a lecture theatre? If people returned the magazine to the magazine racks there’d be a huge reduction in the need for printed copies. If people weren’t so picky about getting their copy out of the magazine rack and settled for finding their magazine in a lecture or in their journey through the University the magazines would be reused more often. I can’t think of one for recycle. Use recyclable material or something. Reuse is basically the same thing so fuck it…

    Of course people are dicks and “training” people may not work. Also I have no idea to suggest how many less should be printed but let’s just say half. That means $24,000 a month has suddenly been reduced to $12,000 with my layman’s maths. Now the problem remains that there will be people who miss out. So why not also publish it on the website too? Hell, most things from the magazine are also published on the website at the same time anyway, (aside from a few things like letters, comics, puzzles and a couple of other things.) Surely it can’t cost too much more but let’s say it adds on another $200 a week. $11,200 in savings a month may not be as great as $11,600 but surely it’s still manageable right? Everyone still gets the same content and people still get a printed magazine each week.

    I’m assuming or course that this is a necessity; why limit the one VUWSA service that most students use just for the sake of saving money and trees if not? Obviously I don’t have all the details, it’s most likely more complicated than this. I’m sure there’s a way to ensure that twenty-four printed copies of Salient are distributed this year though, (okay, twenty-three now.) If it’s just a cost-cutting experiment then I’ve pretty much wasted my time but fuck it, I had nothing better to do.

    Printed media is key. The Internet is fine and all but any fool can create or contribute to a website – I’ve been doing it for years. Websites may be the way of the future, the way of the future, the way of the – ahem, websites may be where it’s all headed but they still don’t have the appeal of a printed magazine. If all magazines of the future are going to just be websites then fine! I’m going to start my own magazine! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the magazine and the blackjack!

    Ahh screw the whole thing.

  7. Jackson Wood says:

    Sup Mind: I will reply to this comment when I am not so strung out on Codrel and other Flu Relief Medication (read Scotch).

  8. Alyx says:

    Superior Mind.. the magazine will still be printed every week… its only Blind Date that’s bi-weekly.

  9. Superior Mind says:

    Oh whut, really? That was a pretty bad thing to misread… Jackson already told me that I missed the point, I’m wondering now just how far off I was.

    No need to rush a reply Jackson, I’m on Red Bull and Berocca thanks to it being essay season. I’ll most likely be up for days.

  10. Jackson Wood says:

    First thing: we’re not going bi-weekly, or alternating between print and web. That is just silly. Salient is a print magazine. Try re-reading the editorial. Salient is a print magazine and we will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    Secondly, as pointed out in the editorial, the website is just another way to do three things, 1) interact and discuss 2) generate revenue through advertising and 3) put our writters material out there.

    The idea for the online issue was simple: Force people to go to the website. Advertise it, increase hits and get people using it more. We pimped it out to make it prettier and more useable. Internal polling showed that most students didn’t know we had a website.

    The web is here to compliment print.

    However if the VSM bomb were to drop. This site could easily take up the slack and become a focal point for information about student issues. As I said the cost of the website is well under the amount used to print and distribute. With a bit more work from next years editor I think that this site could be a saviour for Salient in the future.

    Also something interesting: there is no commitment in the VUWSA constitution or editors contract to provide a certain number of printed editions. In fact the constitution says the editor has full control over content and form.

    The budget cuts were seriously not a huge factor.

    As for all the people who have written in and said things like “weres [sic] our money going?” It isn’t going anywhere. Believe it or not Vuwsa don’t give me a briefcase full of $20 notes and tell me to go crazy. If it’s not spent then it’s not spent.

  11. Daniel J Miles says:

    Everything Jackson has said is a lie. I’ve seen him lighting Cuban cigars with the $20 bills VUWSA gave him at the start of the year.

  12. Jackson Wood says:

    Everything Daniel has typed is a lie. I’ve seen him using my VUWSA sponsored AMEX card to hire prostitutes.

  13. Daniel J Miles says:

    Everything Jackson has implied is a lie. I’ve seen him using his VUWSA sponsored platinum Diner’s card to cut lines of cocaine.

  14. Jackson Wood says:

    Daniel has gone beyond the pale of acceptable truth bending here (it was actually just P, and I was smoking it through a light bulb stolen from the S.U.B.). I have photographs of him in Bermuda—a trip paid for with monies illegally obtained from Jasmines secret hedge fund—where alligators are injecting heroin straight into his nipples.

  15. Daniel J Miles says:

    Way to pull a Rankin on me, Wood. You leave Jasmine and my private life out of this.

  16. Superior Mind says:

    Jackson: See that’s what I thought, (not the embezzling thing, the other stuff,) but after re-reading and mis-reading it seemed that there were going to be a decline in printed editions of Salient which would have sucked, hense my mighty ramble.

    Glad to be put straight anyway.

    And yeah I forgot to send a letter this week. My head hurts.

  17. Dimples says:

    Sure, online Flail-ient, why not? But what am I going to biff on the floor next to the loo at home now, to keep me entertained while I drop Leo and Rudy off at the Freyburg?

    And what am I going to use when we run out of bog roll? Magneto? Too glossy mate, I need the sweet unrefined pages of my beloved lefty student press! Can you start loading up the old Salient racks around campus with T.P. instead? Now there’s an idea……

  18. Jackson Wood says:

    Put simply: The matters that Farrar is blogging about should have remained under confidence as they are private contract negotiations.

    Also I’d like to point out the calculations of the the Salient Editor’s salary are about $10,000 off.

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