Crossfire (magazine)

Crossfire (magazine)

Infobox Newspaper
name = Crossfire

caption =
type = Student newspaper
format = Magazine
foundation = 2001
ceased publication =
price = Free
owners = Deakin University Student Association
publisher =
editor =
chiefeditor =
assoceditor =
staff =
language = English
political =
circulation =
headquarters = flagicon|AUS
oclc =
website = [ Xfire]

"Crossfire" is a student newspaper published at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia since 2001. The magazine is produced by the Deakin University Student Association.


Student media at Deakin

Given that Deakin University is spread across a number of campuses, a number of smaller, campus-specific periodicals have sprung up over the years. Between the years of 2001-02, each campus had their own newsletter which was produced at monthly intervals, complemented Crossfire's wider coverage. These newsletter were designed to cover local events and services run by both the university, and by the student associations respective campuses. These included the 'Waterfront Wave' and 'Pond Life' (2001-2).

In 2002-03, The editorial leadership at the time made Crossfire a fourtnightly publication, and the on-campus editors had 4 pages of campus specific pages, hence there was a Crossfire published for each campus, per issue. This in effect replaced the campus newsletters. Crossfire became a newspaper style magazine, with duo-tone and rough paper stock used to great effect.

In 2004, Anna Jacobs was elected to office as the Editor in Chief, and under her leadership she not only increased the distribution numbers of Crossfire, and grounding the editorial content towards popular culture interests, she re-instigated the campus newsletters. This not only gave each campus their own publication for both news, events information, and outlets for writing of the 'rant' kind, but the move reinforced the strength of Crossfire as a stand-alone magazine with a broad approach. She also implemented higher-quality print stock, which in turn assisted the high visual output that was traditionally assisted with the magazine. The rebirth of the campus newsletters led to "The Grater" (Burwood - Chloe Walker), "Pond Life" (Waurn Ponds Geelong - Katherine Gladman), "Bool'Sheet" (Warnambool - Unknown), "The Front (Waterfront Geelong - Ryan ???). A distinctly more colourful and artistical-driven publications were produced.

'Revolution' at Waterfront

During 2004 the Waterfront Campus newsletter, "The Front", began to be published at erratic intervals, where in some cases months would pass before an issue was released. Due to the representational process that existed at the time the Campus Coordinator, Lina Alexopolus, was not in a position to dismiss the then Campus Editor, Ryan ???.

In the interest of the still developing culture and identity of the relatively new campus it was agreed by the campus committee that a campus newsletter must proceed despite the lack of interest from the elected Campus Editor. As such, in August-September 2004 (exact date unknown) Redmond Hamlett (General Representative) and Matthew Trigg (Environment Representative) took the initiative and began to produce a bi-partisan 'zine' entitled "Neo-Front".

Controversy arose surrounding the choice of name, with claims that it could be confused with such terms as neo-Nazi, and a supposed reference to the 'national front'. There were concerns that this could isolate the significant number of international students studying at the campus. However the name remained following a strong defense from Hamlett and Trigg and the subsequent understanding that "Neo-Front" simply referred to the 'new' 'Front'.

Following the success of the first two issues "Neo-Front" was accepted as the new campus 'zine' (no longer referred to as a 'newsletter' after finding its creative and editorial niche). Ryan ???, the Campus Editor, was still on the DUSA payroll until the end of 2004 when he was replaced as part of the annual DUSA elections. At these same elections Redmond Hamlett succeeded in becoming the new Campus Editor, whilst Matthew Trigg relocated to Melbourne over the same period.

Not present in earlier issues, "Neo-Front" has over time adopted a level of Socialist imagery not present in the other campus newsletters. Images of revolutionary figures, freedom fighters, urban decay have been used for graphical themes and subsequent promotional material, while the content itself remains quite 'safe' and 'unoffensive'. It did, however, become victim to some censorship in 2005 when an article on the negative affects of implementing Voluntary Student Unionism was due to be published. The CEO and marketing managers recommended that the article be removed, and unfortunately it was. The then Editor at the time (Redmond Hamlett) recommended that the author of the said article talk to the La Trobe Uni paper "Rabelais", where the article was published in full.

"Neo-Front" today is the only campus newsletter (or zine) that has continued to be published, albeit at distant intervals, due namely to the funding crisis of VSU.

Voluntary Student Unionism

The implementation of voluntary student unionism in 2006 had a significant impact on the viability of student newspapers across Australia, compulsory student union membership fees having been the major source of income for most. "Crossfire Magazine", and Student Media at Deakin has suffered tremendously because of this. It could also be attributed to the distances between each Deakin Campus that has crippled the organisational power of Crossfire, and its newsletters, as compared to other student union produced magazines, where only one campus is being catered for.

At the time of writing (2008), the last issue of "Crossfire" was published mid 2007 (4 issues in total for 2007), DUSA has yet to recruit a new Editor-In-Chief due to the lack of interest in the Student Community at Deakin. It would however be too easy to say these problems are the blame of Voluntary Student Unionism.

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