Tabloid York Vision is to return to full operations from the beginning of next academic year. The student newspaper has been suspended since it asked students to submit naked pictures for its team to “rate” in edition 266 in autumn term, raising concerns over the society becoming a platform for revenge porn. All copies of the edition were subsequently redacted within a few hours by YUSU and a disciplinary investigation followed.
Following the scandal, the paper will begin a new recruitment process next term to create a new team for a return to printing in the autumn. The decision comes despite widespread demands for the student group to be fully de-ratified after its botched publicity stunt was condemned in the national press by The Times, The Sun and Metro.
In an open letter penned by over 80 students including heads of student media groups, societies, part-time officers, college chairs and presidents, and former prominent members of York Vision, signatories demanded that the publication be terminated from operations due to concerns that the paper about “bring[ing] student media, the University, and the Union into disrepute.”
One student who signed the open letter, The Lemon Press Co-Editor, Henry Dyer, reacted angrily to the news, saying: “This apparent punishment by YUSU is nothing more than a slap on the wrist for a society whose recent back catalogue consists only of piss-poor journalism, irregular production, and a flagrant disregard for their own historical reputation ... The best solution for Vision is to remain as a Colombian MP3 download website.”
Its suspension came only a few years since the publication received national recognition as student newspaper of the year at The Guardian Student Media Awards 2014, its sixth win since 2000. York Vision had been one of the UK’s most critically acclaimed student media outlets before it became dogged by irregular releases, missed deadlines, and various disputes over content.
Student Activities Officer, Finn Judge, said: “Following the publication of edition 266 of York Vision, without appropriate approvals, the media group has been suspended for the remainder of the academic year. The edition was not at all in keeping with the high standards and good journalistic practice expected of – and practised by – York’s student media.
York Vision has informed YUSU of their plans to hold an AGM next term to recruit a new committee. If this happens, with all minimum standards met, the newspaper will be eligible to print new editions in time for Freshers’ Fair. We would then provide the new team with necessary training prior to publication.”