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Chocolate flavoured ASPAs Batman!

James Robinson

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2006 ASPA Awards were held in the weekend. Salient did some ass-kicking of our own, but we failed to regain the best picture gong. Oh, I mean best publication. Damn Oscar fantasies. Better go see my therapist.
We won four ASPAs – best feature content, best design, best educational series, best humour writer. We came second in the best publication category, second in best reviewer, second in news writer (volunteer), and third in editorial writer and news (paid).
So across the board we placed or won in every major aspect of the magazine – design, humour, news, arts reviews, features and editorial. Student media is becoming a furiously competitive zone of excellence, and the bar remains high, and I’m proud that Salient year in, year out manages to help keep the bar high. We came second by a nose, and the split nature of the awards just shows how strong all the magazines are becoming. Congratulations to Critic, who judging by the ASPA judges comments edged us out by a nose. We’ll get you one day, damnit! If only we weren’t self-important, and lacking in humour and humility. Run, Olivia Kember, you run and hide.
We had fun, got drunk, Nicola spewed, as Chris did on the van ride back. Jonny Funtime edged me out at mini-golf in Taupo, furthering our long time mini-golf rivalry, and much like Critic, has managed to turn the tables and establish a solid run of victories. And while I’m listing scape-goats, I’m going to offer up the slippery nature of the 14th green at the Taupo mini-putt as the reason for my loss. And maybe throw in the fact that John Ong is Chinese.
So we came second, but only because of a greater Chinese conspiracy to punish us for offending.
I’m really proud of everyone. All my writers, so I thought I would offer up a sample of delicous comments from the judges. And for once I’m going to brag, and say that even though I knew before this weekend that we have some of the best writers in NZ student media on staff, now I have proof.
Laura McQuillan (re: Joel Cosgrove election corruption)
“great… the single most tantalising story in the category…”
Nicola Kean
“she writes well and makes the issues easy to understand for the reader”
“the introductions to her stories are crisp”
James Robinson (Editorial, Educational Series)
“writes passionately on issues he cares about”
“Robinson’s cussin’, kick-arse style is kept in check by the discipline of shoe-leather research and a big picture understanding”
Nicholas Holm – Humour
“The only comment offered was that he won by a stretch.”
Bea Turner- Arts reviewer
“Bea Turner’s writing is a stylish combination of clear reporting and astute personal observation and comment. This is polished journalism.”
Brannavan Gnanalingam – Feature Writer
“I was impressed with the writing ability – the innate talent – of Gnanalingham”
Ben Fraser – Design
“The magazine has a style that holds the magazine together both within and between issues”
“graphic use is very tidy and photo selection is very good.”
Best Features Content- Salient
“Salient’s portfolio of features would not look out of place in any commercial magazine in the country – the best features in terms of traditional structures and styles”
Best Publication – Salient
“Salient is an excellent student magazine. Good covers, solid layout, wide range of subjects, long features, strong attempts at analysis”
“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”
Anyway, skiting over. 121 issues ago my first review got published in Salient. Just got to drag these bones through one more.
Good day to you all!