Critic named Best Student Publication once again
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Otago University's student publication Critic was named the best publication by a panel of media experts for the second year running at the annual Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA) awards held in Auckland on Saturday, October 7 in association with the NZ Listener.
Critic scooped five of the 14 categories, including Best Columnist, Best Reviewer, Best Feature Writer and Best News Writer. Victoria University's Salient placed second and Auckland University's Craccum third.
TVNZ reporter and Sunday magazine features writer Olivia Kember says of Critic: "Unusually for a student magazine, Critic has a tone – intelligent, perceptive and witty – which carries through every page. The design is slick; the headlines smart; the articles relevant, well-written and engaging. I like the way Critic treats topics judiciously but without heaviness or pretension. Even the small items are inventive and funny. It's a very accessible, enjoyable read."
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade foreign policy officer Michael Appleton says that Critic and Salient were of a considerably higher standard than the other publications. "All new student magazine editors would do well to take a good look at this year's Critic and Salient and learn what made them a cut above the rest."
Massey University's Wellington Campus publication Magneto took out the Best Small Publication category. "If I were at Massey at Wellington I'd definitely read Magneto every week," says Kember. "Its scope is small - student culture in the capital city – but it's covered with enough depth and variation to keep the magazine interesting, and, I imagine, useful. The magazine's also very attractively packaged, and the health column and fashion pages are nice twists on the usual fare."
Other winners on the night included Craccum editor Ryan Sproull (Best Editorial Writer), Critic's John Hartevelt (Best News Writer) and Ryan Brown-Haysom (Best Feature Writer).
Although student magazines are often associated with controversial issues, this year judges commented on the number of investigative stories on tertiary education, which were broken in student media before being picked up by television and newspapers. Student media led the way on stories as diverse as Otago's student code of conduct and Palmerston North's business school restructuring
The Aotearoa Student Press Association comprises 13 publications from the country's university and polytechnic campuses. This was the fifth annual ASPA prize giving and the third held in association with The Listener.