Image: York Vision

York Vision Editor-in-Chief resigns, admits bleak future for student newspaper

Image: York Vision
Image: York Vision

The Editor-in-Chief of York Vision resigned yesterday, stating that “no amount of dedication or commitment” can resolve the newspaper’s ongoing problems.

“I no longer believe that York Vision is [in] a position to continue operating,” Amelia Hubbard, the Editor-in-Chief of York Vision wrote yesterday in a statement of resignation.

Hubbard detailed the difficult situation of the newspaper in a resignation letter emailed to the newspaper’s membership.

Hubbard described the poor conditions of the York Vision office, deemed by University officials to be a fire risk. Despite attempts to tidy the space from the York Vision team, Hubbard writes that, “given our current output and our membership base, this space is no longer justified.”

Later in her letter, Hubbard relates an instance of negative feedback directed towards the newspaper shortly after its most recent printed edition arrived on campus:

For example, when I, along with the Editorial Team, managed to get back into print after a recent period of hiatus, instead of viewing the edition as a step in the right direction, many attempted to discredit our efforts. Though some of this criticism was justified, given the position we were in, I believe that we did our best. Of course, I now recognise the weight of judgement that exists against Vision as being somewhat justified, and see this as having been just another outlet for some individuals concern.

Finally, Hubbard details the personal difficulties she has experienced while leading the newspaper, listing instances of improper language directed against her:

During my time at Vision I have been labelled a ‘bitch’, a ‘psychopath’, ‘cold’, ‘controlling’, ‘Anna Wintour on a budget’, along with many others things that I dare not even repeat. I have also seen off more than one ‘vote of no confidence’ attempt. This, above all, was the most painful. Since becoming Editor[in-Chief] I have done nothing but fight for Vision, and yet the in-fighting of some, has meant that a lot of my battles have been from within. In fact, whilst I was Editor I often felt like the world was against me, and although I have come to recognise that some of the concerns expressed by fellow student journalists were justified, especially pertaining to the state of Vision, I found it to be an incredibly isolating experience.

Hubbard concluded that she would be bringing her concerns to the President of the Students’ Union.

Hubbard’s resignation follows a series of internal disputes within the York Vision Editorial Team. Sources from within York Vision tell The Yorker that both Hubbard and the Managing Director of the newspaper, Lucas North, have been subject to votes-of-no-confidence in the last few weeks.

York Vision has been beset by financial and legal problems for several years. The newspaper last printed in the previous academic term, but received negative reviews from members of the student community and former contributors to the newspaper. Before this, the newspaper last printed in May 2017.

Leading members of student media met last month, following the publication of York Vision‘s most recent printed edition, to discuss the negative response and the future of the newspaper. While acknowledging some editorial mistakes, Hubbard defended her first printed edition as Editor-in-Chief and cited numerous obstacles such as a lack of experience in the team, financial difficulties and a lack of support from the editors of other publications.

Prior to this, last summer an article penned by a previous Editor-in-Chief landed the newspaper in difficulty after several parties mentioned in the paper threatened the newspaper’s team with legal action. The Yorker further understands that the newspaper has struggled with financial difficulties for several months.

Finn Judge, the Print Media Representative on the YUSU Media Committee, told The Yorker and Nouse:

Very sad to see Amelia [Hubbard] go, but the state of Vision is such now that it’s a thankless task to get it anywhere near its former position. Everyone who’s worked on the paper throughout this has tried their hardest – both students and Vision alumni should be grateful for that.

We’ll be having discussions about where to go from here, but for now, I’m glad Amelia is getting a well deserved rest.

The Yorker has contacted the Editor of Nouse for comment.

Last month it was revealed in an investigation, led by The Lemon Press‘s Henry Dyer, that York Vision‘s claim to be the most awarded student newspaper is in fact inaccurate. Asked to respond to Hubbard’s letter of resignation, Dyer told The Yorker:

It is good to see Amelia recognise that Vision is no longer in a position to continue, something that I as well as others have been arguing for some time, and her retrospective recognition of the weight of judgment against Vision as being ‘somewhat justified’.

What I am keen to avoid is a situation where YUSU’s staff and both the current and incoming student Sabbatical Officers fail to recognise this for the umpteenth death knell it is, and pointlessly try to struggle on in the face of the overwhelming facts, placing supposed ego and reputation above prudential use of the union’s limited finance and industry.

My present hope is for a natural rise of a publication that will learn from Vision‘s recent mistakes and past glories, that consists of original, well-researched, and interesting journalism (ideally with a low number of typos, but one step at a time), holds people and institutions to account, and exposes stories otherwise hidden from view. Whatever their form, I look forward to satirising them.

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