York Vision closes amidst phone hacking scandal
After weeks of damning accusations, corporate news group York University Media has announced that this Sunday’s edition of York Vision will be its last, marking a sad end to the newspaper’s twenty-four years of existence. The tabloid’s future had been the subject of intense speculation after numerous campus celebrities commenced litigation proceedings, asserting that personal and private information had been obtained by hacking the telecommunication systems within halls of residence, tapping into confidential Nightline calls, and illegally accessing individual students’ Webmail accounts.
Student journalists at the paper’s headquarters were reportedly devastated upon being told that they would lose their non-paid positions. “What’s going to buttress my future CV now?” lamented Edward Francis, ex-Music Editor at the paper. “I only found out after reading this article on The Lemon Press’ website,” admitted a shocked-looking Paul Virides. Other journalists at Vision had to face up to the fact that, in committing so much energy to a now defunct newspaper and neglecting their degrees, their employment opportunities will now be as limited in the real world as they are within their current environment.
The preventative and somewhat shocking action was taken by York University Media Chair and majority shareholder Jaime Riley, amidst a period of intense pressure from YUSU officers and the threat of criminal proceedings from University officials. With former Technology Editor Jonathan Frost heavily implicated in the scandal, and the extent of Vision-employed private investigator Ben Mulchcaire’s illegal activities being made public, media mogul Riley described it as “regrettable, but unavoidable”.
The bitter cynics at independent news website The Yorker suggested that the decision to fold the award-winning newspaper was merely a form of damage control for Ms. Riley, as YUM look to limit the impact that the phone hacking scandal may have on their attempted buyout of YSTV. It is thought that any offer for controlling shares in the student television company, believed to be worth at least sixty-five pounds sterling, is now doomed to failure, with Riley reportedly blaming YUSU for the scandal becoming “too politicised and rubbish and stuff”.
The news site goes on to claim that, despite the allegations and prospect of expulsion from the University, former Tech Editor Frost will not lose his integral position at the news corporation, instead being reallocated, along with a select number of budding journalists, to another campus publication. Our very own technological guru Cieran Douglass spotted a trademark for The Nouse on Sunday being registered mere hours after the closure of Vision was announced, suggesting that YUM may simply increase the print run of their other major campus newspaper Nouse in an effort to maintain their stranglehold over reputable media in York. That said, Nouse themselves are not adverse to controversy, having obtained information on former YUSU president Tim Ngwena’s favourite children’s television show via the tapping of his mobile telephone. Other media outlets, including but not limited to URY, The Zahir and Haus remain unaffected and unaware of developments.
Affected victims and litigators include television personality York “Andrew” Clemo, Big Name on Campus Lauren Wills, star rugby forward Jonathan Daniels, Vice-Chancellor Brian Cantor, Chancellor-in-Hiding Greg Dyke and outgoing Democracy and Services Officer Dan Walker. In most cases, the well-known victims were dismayed that, despite the illegally obtained wealth of information at Vision’s disposal, many exposing articles were still widely inaccurate and laden with errors of both a factual and a grammatical nature. Former Lemon Press Editor Ryan Fitzgerald criticised the paper’s hacking techniques, calling their methods “disgraceful”, adding that “we’ve done it a lot better in the past.” Walker was particularly distraught that Vision hadn’t write about him enough recently, raging: “The deliberately controversial statements I made to close friends on the phone weren’t just for the hell of it. What does a campus politician have to do around here to be noticed by Vision?!”
“The closure couldn’t have come at a worse time,” admitted Comment Editor Luke Sandford, who wished to remain anonymous. Due to summer term ending almost a fortnight ago, 2.6 readers are expected to pick up a copy of Vision’s final ever issue this Sunday, with another four thousand copies available to readers in the next few weeks at a number of participating bins and recycling points.
“What will I do without my Scene pullout? There’s just not enough campus media coverage of the arts at York…” – Helena, self-confessed Bohemian, Alcuin
“They said my favourite muffin flavour was choc chip. Everyone knows that my favourite is actually blueberry. Except they don’t know that, because they’ve read Vision and got the wrong idea. Good riddance, I say.” – Clemo, television historian, James
“It’s just a bit of hacking. Everybody’s doing it these days, aren’t they? I really don’t see what the fuss is about.” – Piers, ex-editor/columnist/talent judge/talk show host, Vanbrugh
“You could say that with this knee-jerk reaction, YUM have shown a real lack of ‘vision’. See what I did there? That’s a gag.” – David, aspiring comedian, Goodricke
“There were two campus newspapers?” – Austin, workaholic, Wentworth
We look back with fond and nostalgic memories at some of the stories that York Vision have broken over the years: