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  • Phoebe Robertson

The War on Student Journalism

Phoebe Robertson

Since approximately 2005, the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA) has held a Press Pass, granting Student Press access to the government gallery. However, for the first time, Salient (who held the pass on behalf of ASPA) was denied a press pass on Tuesday, February 27th, 2024 by the speaker's office in an email.

When Salient asked why their pass, which had previously been renewed without issue, was now being rejected by the house, they were given no explanation. A follow up email, directly addressed to Gerry Brownlee, asking for the reasoning was also ignored. It remained a mystery as to why the speaker had denied their request, especially since all Salient needed was an update of the name to reflect the 2024 News Editor.

At first glance, this may seem like a minor problem, but it raises concerns about the future of student media. Christopher Luxon has a past record of refusing to engage with student media, and with the current right-wing government in power, it is troubling to think that students may be excluded from participating in political discussions and decisions.

Salient is actively working to challenge this decision, and they have garnered support from other journalists, politicians, and student publications. VUWSA CEO Matt Tucker stated this situation is “wild”.


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