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March 8, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]



It isn’t Salient’s job to tell you how to think. If you’re at university, you clearly have some degree of intelligence. You are capable of making your own decisions. Your mother doesn’t pick your clothes out for you every morning and no one taps you on the shoulder to inform you that drinking cider on a Tuesday lunchtime is a bad idea.

Salient isn’t going to tell you what to think about voluntary student membership. It’s not our place to. It doesn’t matter what I, or my staff, think personally about the issue. Our job, as the media, is to give you the information you need to make your own informed democratic decision.

In an ideal world, the press is the fourth estate of democracy—it is a check on the power wielded by those in positions of authority. It is the job of a properly functioning news media to equip members of society with impartial, balanced information to enable them to make democratic decisions.

Continuing on this ‘idealistic’ tact, in a liberal democratic society, the underlying purpose of the news media is to help citizens in the process of solving political and social problems by presenting a smorgasbord of evidence and opinion as a basis for informed decision making. What makes this possible? An environment where the freedom of the press is respected, and journalists can work free of the control or domination of the governing body. In this sort of media environment, a plurality of voices can exist side-by-side in newspapers, on television and online.

Admittedly, the mainstream news media often do a shit job of informing citizens about politically important issues. That doesn’t mean that student media has to follow suit. We hope that the features and content in this issue will help you make up your own mind about VSM. It’s an issue that you should care about. It’s an issue you should have a view on. I don’t care whether you support VSM or CSM, I just want you consider the issues and make up your own mind.

There has been pressure on Salient to come out and publicly oppose Roger Douglas’ Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill. Yes, student media will be one of the services hardest hit by a change to the status quo. But that doesn’t mean it’s our place to tell you what to think. It’s up to you, the members of VUWSA, to make up your own minds. Salient knows you’re more than capable of dressing yourself without your mother’s help every morning.


About the Author ()

Editor for 2010, politics nerd, panda fan and three-time award-winning student journalist.

Comments (2)

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  1. smackdown says:

    im not my mum always picks out what beatles shirt im gonna wear (best band)

  2. Raptor says:

    Salient once told me to drink cider on a tuesday afternoon without a shirt on. What do you make of that, huh?

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