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Pravda spacer Issue 4
Pravda - Queens Now
by Dr. Beanasa O'Flaherty (Visiting Reader in Runic Literature at the University of Grand Canaria)
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The editor, in his supreme wisdom, has asked me to review the Queen's University freesheet, Queen's Now. What could be more boring that reading corporate propoganda? Reading a review of corporate propoganda, of course.
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My dilemma is sharpened by the uncomfortable realisation that there are actually some quite interesting articles in Queens Now: so how do I write the cynical pusillanimous, hatchet job for which I was commissioned? No problem. A well trained hack know to do two things: firestly, accentuate the negative; secondly, never let the truth stand in the way of a boring story.
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Queens Now seems mainly to consist of various puff on departmental funding rounds and university shindigs (No Kidding! Chinese celebrate the Year of the Goat; Research brings home the corn; Physics'star' wins top fellowship; Biochemical society talk; Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development (right) is presented with a copy of EuroChoices by editor Dr. John Davis at the recent launch in Brussels; and on, and on). It's inevitable that an organ of this type should seek to evangalise on behalf of the Firm. And it's hardly a surprise that uncertainty over the future of university funding, strife over student loans and tuition fees, and disatisfaction at ongoing cuts and closures should ot be heralded on the front page (or indeed on the back, or in the middle). But that's surely the problem: a newspaper that really represented the intellectual life of such a venerable institution, in all its diversity, would invite academics and students to join together in considering such topical concerns. These days 'debate' equals 'dissent', and must not be tolerated. so it is that the student union are able to publish a lively news sheet of their own engaging with various issues in higher education while the universities own trade mag simply presents us with an endless round of drinks receptions, awards ceremonies and general hand shaking marathons. But hey, there's a prize crossword (congraulations to Dr. John Malone, School of Chemistry; enjoy your ten pound book token).
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As we were not already plagued with free listings and reviews sections, Queens Now offers its critical opinion of the latest cinematic releases too, though one suspects this might just be an extended free ad for the company cinema. Reding these 'reviews' one could be forgiven for wondering whether there were any humanities scholars left at Queens.
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For all these criticisms, there are obviously some articles in Queens Now which are quite interesting. I admit I enjoyed the interview with the Very Reverand Professor Martin O'Callaghan, principle of St. Mary's University College; but then it was written by a real journalist, the Irish Time's Jane Coyle. Unfortunately it is simply not clear why this newspaper exists. It must cost the University a few thousand pound to produce. Can't they get cheaper PR?
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If you have a company newsletter you would like to see reviewed here, please send it in and we will consider it for a future issue.
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Pravda - Queens Now
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