The editor of Wapad, the student paper of the North West University’s Potchefstroom campus is happy that the newspaper will soon be back in business.
But Kevin du Plessis, Wapad editor said: “We have many things to sort out in the coming weeks to protect Wapad’s independence for coming generations of student journalists.”
The paper’s journalists already had many discussions underway about the paper’s independence thanks to the support they received from their Communications lecturers.
Du Plessis said the social media response and its role with regard to the newspaper’s reinstatement was their “saviour”. “The word got out so quickly and it served as a great platform for discussion.”[pullquote align=”right”]“the right of a student newspaper to appear without editorial interference was emphasised by campus management”[/pullquote]
Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday that the campus’s marketing and communications department announced the newspaper would appear again on October 10.
Pukke spokesman Johan van Zyl said about R 40 000 of the advertising fees were collected. The outstanding debt would be settled by campus management to ensure that the next editorial team do not start their year in debt.
Van Zyl said management decided that Wapad could be published again because some of the money had been collected.
Last week media reported that the Pukke’s marketing and communication department told Du Plessis that neither a printed edition nor an online edition of Wapad would be allowed for the rest of the year, until almost R80 000 in outstanding advertising fees were collected.
Wits Vuvuzela spoke to Du Plessis who said the decision to ban the newspaper was a plan to control the newspaper’s content to ensure it upholds the university’s reputation and that it was a plan to control media distributed on campus.
Beeld reported that Van Zyl said the newspaper’s expenses must be sustained by advertising income and “the right of a student newspaper to appear without editorial interference was emphasised by campus management as well as the fact that any newspaper can appear with a sustainable income.”