The staff at the University of Texas at Tyler’s newspaper The Patriot Talon has been shaken with stress and confusion after losing their newspaper advisor under suspicious circumstances. Now they are having the freedom to publish what they want taken away from them. With this happening, it is important to realize how crucial the presence of college newspapers are, both for students and the campus.
Campus newspapers are media outlets that keep students and faculty informed on what’s going on around campus. If there wasn’t a college newspaper on campus, then how would students know what’s happening on at their college and on their turf? Honestly, they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t know what’s occurring on campus besides what’s in the organizations that students are actually involved in.
Students in most public high school newspapers have to have the content of their paper approved by the administration before they can print their paper. Students on college newspapers get a promotion as reporters and are supposed to have the same rights as any press association, which means they need no administration approval to publish their paper. What if the mayor or the government was to pre-approve every city paper before it is sent to print, being able to refuse printing it if they did not like certain stories? Citizens would most likely become outraged that their rights were being taken away, and that a higher-power was choosing what is reported to them. This is the same thing with college newspapers. Pre-approval is robbing college newspapers the right of free speech and is cutting deep at students’ constitutional privileges.
Freedom of the press means that if the information is factual, than nothing, not even college administration, can dictate what students put in the college newspaper. This is important because this means that student journalists can report anything important that is happening on campus, which includes things that shouldn’t be occurring. Most importantly, it is the job of the student reporters to report corruption to the campus. If there weren’t newspapers and other media outlets than there is no way the public would know if anything dishonest was occurring. Rights cannot be protected if no one knows their rights are being threatened. College newspapers are also outlets where students can share their opinions about issues happening on campus. They are only one of the few ways students’ voices can be heard.
College newspapers and media are important organizations that shouldn’t be taken away from campuses. The rights of these media outlets are pertinent towards equal treatment and following students’ constitutional rights. Taking away the freedom of press at colleges is a blow towards the first amendment and the rights of being American.