Student - September 25, 2008

No grovelers and yea-sayers

No doubt whatsoever regarding the critical powers of the new editorial team of Resource, says media adviser Martijn de Groot. ‘These are no hangers-on. Quite the opposite, I would say. Wageningen UR will have the editorial team it deserves.’

With this new Resource, his work is finished. De Groot has his own communication consultancy and revived Resource in the past few months. It followed the failed outsourcing of Resource. Its previous publisher Cereales lost the contract last spring. The publisher did fight the procedure, successfully, but eventually had to face a pyrrhic victory. Wageningen UR decided to start publishing Resource on its own. That made the previous editorial team unemployed.
With regard to putting new team together, De Groot says to have had a free rein. ‘Of course there were a number of wishes and desires on the part of the University. Resource for sample has to bow to the communication views of Wageningen UR. In addition, it should be a good publication, journalistically speaking, with high-quality news. WUR wasn't looking for grovelers and yea-sayers but wanted a critical and alert team.’
That does not mean that Resource is completely independent. ‘There is no such thing as an independent editorial team for an organization's magazine. The editorial team is part of Wageningen UR. That used to be different. Cereales was an independent foundation. In that situation, the University had no official say.’
That has changed somewhat. According to De Groot, Resource now must maintain a ‘cooperative’ attitude regarding sensitive news about the organization. The University would prefer to suppress news that might damage the organization. ‘But that is merely a wish.’
The cooporation has been laid down in a new editorial statute. The statute replaces the old set of rules the editorial team had to follow in the past. An important change is that the editorial team justifies its work to corporate communication after publication, and that there is no advance monitoring, all on the basis of trust. De Groot explains: ‘You want a magazine that is made by people who use their brains.’

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