Help me understand

Did anyone else try to read the editorial by John Rhodes called "Campus censorship is alive and well at UNC" in the Chapel Hill News this weekend? It sounded important, but so much was based on literary and historical references and previous letters to the editor, none of which I am conversant in. I really wanted to, but I literally could not understand the information being conveyed in this column.

So, I'm sure one of you smart readers understands this issue. Care to explain? Or is this a conversation between UNC staff and the administration that the rest of us should stay out of?


Total votes: 97


I'm with you, Ruby - wanted to but couldn't make sense out of all that was jammed into what seemed like a private conversation. Maybe we should ask Mark Schultz to explain it - he's the one who decided to run it.

"Indeed, all universities should rightfully be proud of achievements made by their graduates, but should fear of losing financial support for the university or appearing "unfriendly toward business" (the latter while trying to market a nationally ranked business school) prevent an uncensored, candid dialog that should necessarily include all within the university? "

This seemed to be the summary sentence in his essay.

I don't think a reasonable person can claim that there is not censorship - or at least "spin" - surrounding much of what any large (and ambitious) university wants to communicate.

But there does seem to be a need for details in the specific example given.

The University Gazette wanted to edit a statement that the UNc Employee forum asked to publish in the paper. I don't have all the details but I think that is the beginings of the article.

Seems like the online version of this story could have benefited from links to the letters "UNC and censorship" and "Afraid of debate?". Plus the first letter refers to the N&O story UNC employees group claims censorship.

Thanks to google I found them real quick. I wonder how long they'll be online? In a years time if those letters are no longer available online it'll be even harder to make sense of this editorial.

Does the Chapel Hill News ever have links in the body of stories that *are not* on their blogs? Despite the level of distraction color and links can have over smoothly reading a paragraph its times like these where contextual links are extremely important. You could even put them at the beginning or end of the story.

I remain amused, and occasionally bemused, by those who don't understand that "press freedom" has to do with the ability of (private) journalists to monitor and criticize government behavior without fear of intervention or interference. Crying "censorship" in other cases really just indicates protest and doesn't carry the weight of law.

Something published by the UNC is, by definition, a governmentally owned and sponsored publication; and "censorship" isn't really a viable legal issue, although the ethics and morality of the choices might be problematic. They can write what they wanna write and suppress what they want to, and in a strictly legal sense, it's not censorship per se.

Ditto any publication in which the owner of the press is the one who decides to "censor" something he/she doesn't like. Legal protections against censorship apply to government intervention in non-government publications, period. So, the White House telling Fox what not to print? Qualifies as a breach of 1st Amendment rights only if Murdoch et al disagree with the recommended editorial choices.

Now, whitewashing -- that's a different issue.


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