Wednesday, February 24, 2010

in defense:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -Voltaire

In regards to my last post - no, a newspaper should not have to apologize for the views of its writers. Especially not in the Opinion section. There is a strong disclaimer that reads: "All signed opinions, artwork and letters are the view of the original author and not necessarily the opinions of the New University." The current criticism that blames the New U for publishing the article is misdirected anger. The New U does not explicitly print articles that the editors agree with - there is a lot of disagreement amongst what writers will sometimes tend to write about. The reasons for not publishing an article, specifically in the Opinion section, is if the information presented is factually wrong (wrong as in "2+2 is 5," not wrong as in "your opinion is wrong") and not supported by sources. However, this does not make the New U as a whole racist, ignorant or offensive.

At the same time, I do feel that the New U should defend its writers and not allow editors to make comments that throw writers under the bus. The system and schedule of production at the paper isn't perfect, I won't lie, but there can only be improvement if those in charge are critical of their work. Folding to the passionate anger of the public is not the way to approach any situation.

There has been so much talk of "freedom of speech" lately on this campus, and I believe that this article is truly an exercise in that freedom. She did not go to a meeting and shout her opinions at anyone, nor did she try to suppress somebody else's views (however misinformed her opinions are).

I get that people are angry and frustrated, and they have a right to be. But watch where your frustrations are directed. I don't like the article's ignorance as well, but in defense of the writer: I doubt she is unintelligent or trying to purposefully offend and anger people. Her opinions are based on her world view, which needs to be broadened. That having been said, though I don't agree with what she wrote, I will not condemn her.

But this is all just my opinion.

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