Censorship on campus: We will not be silenced
Tuesday afternoon, several members of the Eagle News staff noticed an out-of-the-ordinary spike in papers picked up from distribution racks around campus. We monitor the papers every day, and our racks didn’t show any sign of increased readership 24 hours prior to the sudden disappearance of as many as 1,500 issues.
To clarify: Taking excessive amounts of student newspapers from racks, whether as a prank or as a form of vengeance, is a form of censorship. It is stealing.
We are distraught.
Our rights have been violated. We have had something stolen from us. We will not act lightly.
By taking copies of Eagle News from our stands for purposes other than reading those issues, you are depriving student journalists and advertisers from delivering a message, and you are depriving the rest of the student body from receiving that message.
By doing so, you are acting in your own self-interest, not in the student body’s.
The same right that gives the campus preacher authority to be on campus, and for you to voice your opinion about the preacher speaking on campus, gives Eagle News the right to publish news without censorship.
It’s called the First Amendment: freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Aside from the censorship aspect, you’re also stealing the hard work of student journalists on campus who care deeply about the stories and photos we publish. We work very hard to put together the best possible newspaper for the student body every week, often staying late into the night to ensure that it is of the highest quality.
Not to mention that production of Eagle News comes from funding provided by student tuition.
We are student journalists preparing for careers while covering the good, the bad and the ugly at FGCU. Our purpose is to encourage conversations about issues that concern the on-campus community. We do our best to represent the diverse voices on campus with fairness. We try to select content for our publication and our website that is relevant to the student body, faculty and staff. Members are committed to reporting with accuracy and truth.
Unfortunately, we are familiar with the situation. A similar incident happened last year after we reported a story that some students found unpopular.
But that means we’re doing something right. As George Orwell said, “Journalism is reporting what others do not want reported; everything else is public relations.”
We will continue to seek out the truth. We will continue to report all the news on campus, even if it isn’t the prettiest.
We are Eagle News, and we will not be censored.