This week’s edition of York Vision, the first printed edition for over half a year, has received much criticism from its former editors, current members of campus media and other readers.
The troubled student newspaper produced its first printed edition since May 2017 on Tuesday 28th February, featuring the work of a brand new editorial team. However, students and York alumni, including current contributors to student media and former members of York Vision, have publicly criticised the newspaper’s new look, quality of writing and design.
Jacob Groet, a student and member of the University of York Conservative Association, accused the newspaper of a “lazy fall-back on racial politics for an easy headline”, making reference to a controversial opinion piece penned by Nayomi Karthigesu, which mentions the next YUSU President’s race and gender.
Why not be concerned with the lazy fall-back on racial politics for an easy headline? There are so many things wrong with YUSU and it’s elections, and @YorkVision choose the most irrelevant factor to pick up on. I find this concerning. https://t.co/kw2pbh4Hbx
— Jacob Groet (@JacobGroet) March 1, 2018
Jonny Long, a former Editor-in-Chief of York Vision who later moved to The Tab, voiced his frustrations about the state of his former student newspaper on Twitter. “What is this? Where is the red top??” he wrote, referring to the absence of York Vision‘s trademark red header in the new edition.
What is this? Where is the red top?? https://t.co/3zX9Of8HSB
— Jonny Long (@iamjonnylong) February 26, 2018
In another Tweet, examining the presentation of the News section, Long wrote that he wanted “to cry.”
— Jonny Long (@iamjonnylong) February 27, 2018
Reviewing an opinion piece for the paper, in which members of the Universities and Colleges Union currently on strike were described as going through a “mid-life crisis gone too far”, Paul Wace, another former Editor-in-Chief of the paper, simply wrote, “Embarrassing.”
When asked for his thoughts on the latest edition, one current contributor to campus media told The Yorker that he had put his copy in the bin after reading it.
Elsewhere, the front cover of the edition, featuring a white chair on a grey background in reference to a white former college chair’s election to the role of President of the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU), was lampooned by York’s satirical publication, The Lemon Press.
“Sure, there is a general lack of news,” the semi-anonymous author wrote. “Sure, the typeface is curious. And yeah, sure, it does look a bit like a packet of cigarettes. And yes, maybe it doesn’t immediately make sense to anyone who isn’t a York Vision editor or a psychologist who specialises in psychosis.” The author went on:
But none of this matters. York Vision have redefined the media landscape. The message doesn’t matter (the message, if you were wondering, is that Tim Ngwena, former YUSU President, was transformed into a piece of furniture in a blood ritual). What matters is that York Vision have saved print media, and we should all thank them. Thank you, York Vision.
The satire magazine later joked on Twitter that York Vision‘s alumni would remove references of their involvement with the paper from their CVs in response to the most recent edition.
That sound you can hear isn't anything to do with the weather, it's the former editors of York Vision hurriedly removing all references from their CVs…
— The Lemon Press (@thelemonpress) February 27, 2018
York Vision returned to print on Tuesday this week after a long hiatus. The award-winning student newspaper, which last printed in May 2017, has suffered a number of financial, legal and membership problems for over a year.
Later on Tuesday, York Vision Tweeted an image of a separate edition, this time following their typical format of presentation, implying that a second print edition would be available on Wednesday this week. “Sometimes you don’t know what you’re seeing. #DoubleVision #TomorrowsPapersToday” the paper wrote.
— York Vision (@YorkVision) February 27, 2018
According to sources within the York Vision team, this second edition was not expected even by York Vision‘s own editors. The newspaper subsequently clarified that the image of the second edition was a “mock up” in York Vision‘s “traditional design” and that there is “no second print run planned”.
To avoid any confusion – this was a mock up of what our cover would have looked like under the more traditional Vision design. There is no second print run planned, and our next expected print run is early next term. https://t.co/pFNTScuDnQ
— York Vision (@YorkVision) March 1, 2018
York Vision has been contacted for comment, but have not responded to The Yorker‘s request prior to publication.
When The Yorker asked Finn Judge, Print Media Representative on the YUSU Media Committee, if the new edition of York Vision was money well spent, he responded:
I’m really glad to see Vision back in print. It’s had a long series of personnel changes, so for the new team to make their mark on the paper is entirely justifiable. While rivalry between student media outlets should be encouraged, I would advise those from other outlets to be constructive when considering their redesign.