Censorship ensues

By Staff Writer
March 30, 2006

If there is one thing that politicians around the world have in common, then that is that they all want to control the media.

Media censorship is a world-wide problem.

Journalists are being jailed for not revealing their sources. Politicians are not the only ones trying to control the media. In fact, most people are afraid of the media. College newspapers are being censored as well.

Apart from getting furious when e-mailing people to set up appointments and not receiving a reply, my worst moment is having someone ask me to send them the quotes before the article is published. Then again, I was advised that I shouldn’t be scared to send quotes because I have to establish credibility. So, with time, sending quotes “to be checked” did not bother me anymore.

However, I just feel that it’s not right to send people quotes before articles are published. If someone really wants to check quotes, he or she should meet with the editors during copy editing.

Despite feeling strongly on the matter, I always end up sending quotes anyway. Beggars can’t be choosers.

One can argue that the best way to do interviews is through e-mails. That way a reporter can just copy and paste. This method is somewhat effective. I know someone that prefers this method because she always gets misquoted.

The type of interviewing that reporters use is not the issue. I feel that people just realize how powerful the media is, and they are scared of it. However, some people disagree.

I recently read an article by Ricardo Pimentel, on poynter.org, who wrote that “journalism should be worth nothing in coin because it is already one of the most priceless items in existence.”

I must admit that I agree. I am a communications major, but I feel that people fear the media too much. I just can’t understand why people tend to censor newspapers, especially college newspapers, while most do not read past the front page.

Of course the media and reporters sometimes act irresponsibly.

Sometimes reporters fake sources, plagiarize or write about events that they have not been to. Reporters misquote people too or are inaccurate when taking notes.

However, the media has advantages too. One of the many advantages is that it keeps people informed.

I strongly feel that the media should be independent. There are worse issues to worry about, such as human trafficking and why capital punishment is still legal.

I feel that government leaders who feel like treating the media as their puppets should rather worry about issues like human trafficking and capital punishment.

Also, college administrators should not be so focused on censoring college newspapers, but perhaps focus more on issues that affect students, such as creating more opportunities to teach students the connection between freedom of speech and responsibility, or ugly things, such as racism and ethnic intimidations on college campuses.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Staff Writer

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