Preventing The Distribution Of A Student Newspaper

Preventing The Distribution Of A Student Newspaper

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Is it morally right to prevent the distribution of a student newspaper because some students found an opinion piece offensive? A student newspaper funded by the students has obligations to inform its readers on current events as well as be a platform for the student body to offer up opinions worthy of discourse. If students feel these obligations are not being met appropriately they have the right to call the paper’s funding into question, but students do not have the right to prevent its distribution. To prove this I will show that a publication does not have to reflect its reader’s, or benefactors, opinions as long as it fulfill its obligations, and that preventing the publications distribution will hurt the student body more than help it.
Newspapers and other publications will be conveyed as their own sentient beings, seeing as they are a compilation of likewise individuals. Newspaper publications only obligations are to provide a service which the subscriber has agreed to pay for. If a newspaper fails in this regard then it cannot expect to keep publishing because it will lose subscribers and become unprofitable. If a newspaper promotes itself as an open forum to voice the opinions of others, they have an obligation to do so. If a group of readers finds the opinion disagreeable, then they are free to submit a rebuttal or unsubscribe, but the publication fulfilled its obligation and cannot be punished. Should a publication endorse an opinion, as opposed to simply state it, then they become responsible for the opinion, as voicing your opinion means opening up to scrutiny. Choosing not publish reader feedback in an opinion column means the publication is failing to meet the expectations of their readers by censoring information...

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...e interpreted as offensive. Lack of submittals will lead to a less stimulating opinion section and less of an impact on students. The boycott group is also harming themselves by not taking an opposing opinion into consideration simply because they don’t like it. Holding The Argus hostage is also diminishing the image of the group
Preventing the distribution of a student newspaper is not the appropriate course of action to take when you disagree with what it’s publishing. Publishing an opinion is the newspapers role, and if the paper chose to omit an opinion, offensive or otherwise, then it would not be meeting the expectations of the readers. Preventing distribution of a newspaper is not only wrong because of the financial implications but it is also harmful to the student body by removing the opportunity to consider others opinions and challenge their own beliefs.

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