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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The big mouth 

I have just consumed the third edition of AUT's student publication Te Waha Nui - the big mouth - which is entirely student produced and refreshing in its complete lack of advertisements.

From the US presidential elections, to Northland school closures, to Sport 365, reviews and sports coverage the paper offers fresh, youthful perspectives.

Te Waha Nui doesn't get a mention in the Listener's recent media column on student journalism yet its cross-town rival, the NZ Herald produced, Fuse does:

Russel Brown wrote the paper demonstrated the difficulty "of tapping into the student media tradition of challenging the Establishment when you are published by the Establishment".

"It contained many brief advisory articles and comments – and plenty of prominent commercial sponsorship – but little to threaten the news pages of its daily big brother, or scare the editors of the better student publications."

While Fuse may not try and scare the editors of "better student publications" its parent body sure did.

In Te Waha Nui's first edition a student reporter wrote a rather benign story on the NZ Herald having fired its cartoonist Malcolm Evans.

The NZ Herald responded by sending its high profile lawyers to intimidate the week-old newspaper and its student editor with legal action - way to go to encourage beginner journalists - pricks.

But the Herald's bullyboy antics worked and I don't think its questionable antics have ever been reported.


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