Censorship can be a dangerous thing

“We Don’t Make The News We Report It”. This is The Gramblinite’s motto, and we strongly stand by it.

The news and opinions reflected in The Gramblinite may not always be positive, and it may not please everybody, but we pride ourselves in stating the facts, reporting the truth, and reflecting the feelings and attitudes of the student body. This is why we are a well respected publication.

However, it seems as though lately we have been getting a lot of backlash for what we do. Certain individuals do not agree with the questions that we put in 20 Questions (a column for entertainment purposes, hence the placement on the entertainment page) and more recently our GSU.

Midterm report card. So instead of coming to us like adults, they have decided to revoke access passes to The Gramblinite for homecoming. Even worse, they have decided to publicly sling mud at us at an SGA general assembly.

But my question is this. If these people had such a problem with what was put on the opinion and entertainment pages, why didn’t they come to The Gramblinite? We have open meetings every Monday at 4 p.m. in Washington-Johnson Complex. Why didn’t they write a letter of complaint to the editors? We are a fair publication, and we certainly would have run it. Why weren’t the few Gramblinite staff members who were also on the SGA Cabinet talked to about this issue?

Instead, dirt has been publicly thrown at us. Certain people have decided to punish us by denying us access to their events. Last time I checked freedom of the press was covered in our first amendment rights. Are we such a Nazi society that the Gramblinite should only print news that is pleasing to elected officials?

Anytime you deny a publication certain passes, monies, rights, etc. because of something that is printed in the paper it is called censorship. And that is a dangerous thing. Those are the makings of communist societies where there are dictators, and people get killed for questioning authority.

If we stop printing stories for fear of upsetting others, where does it stop? That means we shouldn’t print stories about crimes happening on campus because that makes the GSUPD look bad. That means we should ignore the cries of the students, and never say anything negative about staff or administration, even when they fail us.

A wise man once said that if everybody is happy reading the paper that means we are not doing our job. We never purposely look for stories that will offend people. We don’t sit around when The Gramblinite is being put together saying “Oh, yeah this will really piss people off!” But we will inform, persuade, and occasionally entertain the students. This is our job. This is the job of the media. And we will not sugar coat an issue because we are afraid it will hurt somebody’s feelings or because someone will try and punish us.

Instead of being mad at the Gramblinite, why not channel that energy into trying to make things better, so we won’t have anything negative to write about? There is obviously, something wrong when people don’t know, (and don’t care) who the SGA president is. Someone is missing the mark if only SGA officials show up to student body rallies. Who is going to take responsibility for that?

Before you get angry with The Gramblinite, take a survey. Ask the students what SGA is doing. I guarantee their answer won’t be any different from the opinion published in The Gramblinite.

I could be wrong, but it seems as though certain elected officials have gotten on their high horses, talking down to The Gramblinite when we voted for them and at times endorsed them during their campaigns. How quickly we forget. The excuse is that they work hard, but we work just as hard. And we will continue to do so. Our voices will not be silenced.


Orneno Wright is a mass communication major from Chicago.