YUSU withdraws circulation of Vision

YUSU have withdrawn all copies of Tuesday’s edition of Vision indefinitely following what is believed to be a breach of the media charter by the newspaper.

After copies were printed and delivered, YUSU moved to remove all copies from campus distribution points. Some copies had been picked up by students. It is unknown if the copies will be released later this week.

While YUSU were unable to comment, it is believed that legal advice is being taken in regards to comments made by the newspaper. YUSU were not able to confirm whether the breach of the media charter was due to libel or student welfare reasons, though it is reported that the comments in question regard a student politician.

As per the media charter, signed by all Union media soceities, YUSU check all news pages of campus newspapers before printing. The offending article was however missed by YUSU as it was placed in Vision‘s features section, which is not checked for legal issues.

Joe Burnham, Vision Co-Editor, said: “While not seeing eye-to-eye with YUSU causes problems for any campus society, we at Vision understand their desire to always err on the ‘safe’ side. We’ve been assured that Vision will still be released within the coming days, and as always we’re nothing but proud of the work of all our writers and editorial team.”

“Personally, I see occassional clashes with YUSU as a healthy relfection of Vision being an independent campus news resource, and demonstrates that campus media is not just a mouthpiece for the University,” he added.

22 comments

  1. For once, something interesting.

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  2. The reason it was “missed”, was because there was nothing in the article that jepordised the welfare of a student.

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  3. Sorry Dan, we’re under strict YUSU orders not to allow anything that hints at what or who the content was about.

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  4. No, Dan, you are wrong. The reason it was missed is because the article was in the features section of Vision. The features section is not subjected to the scrutiny that the news section is (YUSU do not receive the features section before publication) as it rarely contains content that could cause welfare/legal issues.

    The fact that YUSU is believed to be obtaining legal advice suggests that the decision to pull the issue wasn’t simply one taken on ‘welfare’ grounds.

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  5. I don’t think it is responsible of Nouse to encourage this type of gossip and rumour-spreading. The fact is, whether or not Nouse editors know why Vision was pulled, they cannot publish it. If it is a welfare-connected issue, rumour-spreading will make the matter worse and I am shocked, therefore, that YUSU have not pulled this article, and I encourage them to do so.

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  6. 10 Dec ’08 at 8:41 pm

    Matthew Pallas

    This just goes to show that YUSU should check the features sections in the same way that it checks the news sections of the papers.

    There is no point in checking the papers at all if content in the features section can lead to circulation being withdrawn anyway.

    I happen to know a bit about the matter in question. I’m not sure how much Nouse will let me say, but it isn’t a big cover up of a shocking story. Nobody has punched anyone.

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  7. I second Matt. It’s the most ridiculous recall I think I’ve ever heard of. I know a fair bit about what was printed and have serious concerns over press-freedom when such a fuss is made out of something so, so minor.

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  8. I happen to know exactly which article was pulled, and why – i’m sure others know too.

    In my opinion there was no need to pull the article, it’s simply YUSU overreacting again for nothing. It’s important for the media to have freedom. For something as minor as the article in question it’s disturbing how YUSU can even begin to justify this.

    I have serious concerns about the control that YUSU are throwing around these days.

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  9. I fully support the withdrawal of the paper. You have to consider that as a reader you do not know the full story and you can only see what is printed. This is often an extension of a deeper problem and can only cause an escalation. You cannot always think that it was pulled just because of what was printed, its because of the effects and consequences of what was printed and the fact that it is a continuation of an already serious issue that had been previously highlighted to YUSU officers over the past month. Don’t be so shallow minded to think what you read is the full story.

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  10. Laura, but where do you draw the line? If you start removing articles because the subject of that article does not like what’s printed, then you find yourself in a tricky situation as the editor of a ‘free-press’ on campus in terms of what you can/can’t print. Is any article that mentions a student by name a ‘breach of welfare’ if it doesn’t heap praise on them?

    The media-charter will forever be debated, but now students seem more ‘aware’ that it even exists, they are willing to invoke it at the drop of a hat whenever an unsavoury article/criticism is levelled at an individual (I’m being careful here, moderators).

    Many of us who involve ourselves in campus politics etc have had negative articles written but I’m afraid that that’s the nature of how involving ones-self works. Toys can’t be thrown out the pram when something is written that doesn’t praise us to the hilt!!!

    The whole concept of a free-press is to inform, comment and criticise. For me, the idea of a free-press is something we should defend and an integral part of a free-society and in our smaller case, of a campus press that holds individuals to account or makes comment on them.

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  11. Laura,
    Although that may be a valid reason for withdrawing the newspaper, it’s important to understand that vision might not have been aware of all the extraneous factors involved in the situation (I certainly wasn’t before someone explained it to me), and therefore weren’t as sensitive as they should’ve been. It seems like they’re now being blamed for not being aware of the YUSU officers being told specific pieces of information, which might demonstrate poor research but doesn’t mean they intentionally wanted to cause distress.

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  12. From The Yorker: ‘Burnham stressed that Vision is “well aware that we made a mistake and we will be issuing an apology soon”‘.

    Interesting difference in emphasis there.

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  13. While media freedom is important, let us remember that the welfare of students is paramount. I doubt that Vision printed a story that they knew tied into a long-running issue, but YUSU were aware and had to step in. That said, as a sign of goodwill to the fact that Vision have acted responsibly and that they were not to know about any long-standing issues, surely YUSU should pick up the tab for the re-print?

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  14. Surely when they post the apology people will know which article it is?

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  15. I know exactly why this edition was pulled. I know those who wrote the ‘offending’ piece and I know those who made the decision to pull the paper. Hell, I’ve even got a couple of copies of the illegal paper!

    In all honesty, it is ridiculous that this action has been taken.

    It really is a massive over reaction on the behalf of YUSU.

    Dan is entirely right when he talks about the freedom of the campus press and the media charter.

    Those at YUSU directly involved with this should have stood firm and used some common sense, thus allowing the paper to go out including the content.

    p.s. I’m not from Vision, Nouse, YUSU or any organisation of interest. I just find this whole issue particularly disappointing and alarming.

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  16. YUSU has one or two things to explain and apologise for. I am outraged and offended by what they have done.

    P.S. I also know the exact detail of what has happened but I am not a contributor to any newspaper.

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  17. 12 Dec ’08 at 12:13 am

    An Nonny Moose

    Do we know that this has been withdrawn for welfare reasons?

    There is a little thing called “libel” you know.

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  18. I’m so nosy, I wish I knew what it was – although it all likelihood it will be an anticlimax. I find often with issues like this, if people ignored it nobody would notice, but it’s the big fuss of pulling everything that attracts load of attention to it.

    Although, on page 3, both articles cut off at the end mid-sentence; “York is believed to be the most haunted city in the world, with over 504 recorded hauntings, ac-” and “Although Phil Collins is based in America, so will not be making appearances at RAG week any time soon, he will be donating signed merchandise to be auctioned off at”

    Maybe they need to recruit an extra person to proof read things before it goes to print?

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  19. YUSU should not foot the bill for the reprint. They check each edition before printing but for the features section as last minute contributions are made. If the article was in this section it was not checked first and Vision should be extra careful what they print here. Also, they merely pulled the offending page out and redistributed.

    Richard – with regards to it being an anti-climax… yes definitely. At what appears on the page it is not a big deal.

    With regards to Vision editors being held accountable for issues they had no awareness of I am completely sympathetic. What they do have to realise is that for confidentiality reasons, they cannot be told everything in advance ‘in case’ they print it. If something creeps in that is an extended issue currently being dealt with at a higher level, they need to empathise and accept that when you are printing things about people, this is going to occur from time to time.

    Dan – I completely agree with everything you have said, and yet knowing the situation I still agree with YUSU and their actions. Student welfare is paramount. Obviously there are things I wish I could say in response, yet can’t.

    It appears most people have read the whole thing anyway…

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  20. Also, just to address the Anon comment about Vision not knowing and not intending to cause any problems… I don’t think it is their fault at all! Like I said above, if you print things about people from time to time you aren’t going to have the full picture and misunderstandings are going to happen, with consequences.

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  21. In case you guys didn’t notice, they didn’t reprint.

    Also a couple of the reissued ones went out with the piece still in so I recommend scouring through every paper in the hopes of finding one, if you’re THAT nosy!

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  22. but how are we supposed to scan hundreds of papers looking for the offending article when it’s not at all clear what the article is and why it was controversial? i for one wouldn’t wanna waste my time when it’s probably insignificant and inconsequential anyway

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