Friday, December 09, 2011

What To Do About The School Paper

I came across two stories today about college newspapers.

Sac State:
An inflammatory cartoon published last year in Sacramento State's student newspaper has prompted the university's provost to push for greater oversight by faculty.

Provost Joseph Sheley in September told the Publications Board – made up of faculty advisers and students – to make changes to The Hornet's policies or he would consider taking the newspaper out of the curriculum at California State University, Sacramento, so students would no longer earn credits for writing for it.

On Tuesday, Sheley told The Bee he doesn't want to censor the paper or break ethical rules. "I want the advisers and the editors to work a little harder," he said. "To discuss the issues and some of the pitfalls that might accompany certain kinds of stories, instead of dissecting them after the fact."

Self-censorship is still censorship.

Yeshiva University:
An online student newspaper at a private Jewish university in New York lost its funding after it refused to take down a literary column detailing a sexual encounter between two students...

Matt Yaniv, Yeshiva University’s associate director of media relations, said in a statement Thursday that the school did not pull funding from The Beacon.

“The Beacon received their funding from the school’s student government, who allocates funds to all student clubs,” he wrote in an email to “After posting an article that made many students uncomfortable, the student council president approached The Beacon editors on behalf of the students, asking them to take it down.

“After an amicable discussion between the two sides, The Beacon decided to part ways and become an independent publication.”

The university, Yaniv said, acted only as a “mediator” between the newspaper and student council.

He who pays the piper calls the tune?


maxutils said...

if you're going to censor a paper, there's really no reason to have one. you know what happens if you print something offensive? people elect not to read it, or advertis in it, or . . . don't. i can't imagine a world in which i was never offended by anything. i think it would be boring.

Anonymous said...

The cost of having an online "paper" should be under $200/year (almost all of which would be hosting costs). There is no good reason to ask a school to subsidize this, given the censorship that come with taking university money.

Mark Roulo