Students’ survey highlights censorship of Christian college newspapers

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John E.'s picture

This morning, I pitched to my editors an article defending the right of Christian Colleges to "censor." My use of the word "pitched" should give an idea of the direction I'm intending to take. 

Bert Perry's picture

Reading the papers, it strikes me that journalists all over are dealing with censorship every day.  It is inherent in the very notion of having an "editor" review one's work, and if you think that there isn't a little bit of leaning on reporters in big city dailies and even the NY Times and Washington Post, I've got a bridge I can sell to you cheap.  The question isn't whether there is censorship or not, but rather whether the censorship is severe enough and significant enough in its nature for one to risk one's livelihood to circumvent it.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

John E.'s picture

There is no such thing as objectivity when humans are involved. There is always going to be an editorial bent.

I have quite bit of leeway at PJ Media, and I frequently write articles that contradict the status-quo at PJ. There's even been a PJ article written about how an article I wrote for PJ was wrong. But even with that, I do write within editorial boundaries. Likewise, if I heard that a writing job was available at HuffPo's Queer Voices, I would never apply. They would censor me, as would be their right, and I would be unwilling to write within their editorial parameters.

I agree with Bert that the level of censorship is important, and that for the sake of the public interest different platforms should provide more leeway than other platforms. College newspapers are low on the list of needing to provide their writers more leeway for the sake of the public interest. 

P.S. In case you're interested, here's the PJ article about me and my article. After it was published, I received a few text messages from friends on the Hill urging me to not respond to Adams since, in my friends' words, "he knows what he's talking about and you don't." Smile ... Anyway, that has very little to do with the article this thread is about. 

https://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2016/10/23/trump-is-right-john-ellis...

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

The students are complaining that their papers basically function like actual newspapers. Editorial control is SOP for newspapers. "Censorship" doesn't even apply.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

As an anti-Trumper, myself, I sympathize, but the fact remains: speech is not free in private businesses and institutions. And it's not free for news writers, unless they are independent writers. 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

John E.'s picture

As an anti-Trumper and a writer, I agree with Aaron.

It should also be pointed out that the Red Letter Revival was less anti-Trump and more pro-progressive theology. The anti-Trump is the click-bait they use to get attention.

Bert Perry's picture

The "red letter" "christians" illustrate a good challenge for where the boundaries of fellowship lie.  Their premiss--that we ought to heed the letters in red in many Bibles and let the other stuff slide, more or less--is a prima facie rejection of the 1st Fundamental, Sola Scriptura, and the unity of Scripture.  

Now the question here is not whether Liberty ought to deal strenuously with these guys, but rather how.  My take is that as a rule, you are smarter to allow the newspaper to cover it and explain exactly why the student pledge, along with the First Fundamental and Sola Scriptura, strongly contradict them.  

There are a lot of places where one "can" do things where it is not smart to do them, and in my view this is a clear case of that.  Falwell et al forfeited a powerful teaching moment.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.