As I posted last week on Pink Pumps & Politics, The Communicator, Indiana-Purdue University of Fort Wayne’s student newspaper, ran the 12-cartoon anti-Islamic cartoons that have been creating controversy worldwide. No context to them. No editorials. Just a staff editorial saying why they were running the cartoons, and the cartoons themselves.
This week, I expected to open up to “Podium,” the Communicator’s op-ed section, and find swarms of letters to the editor, staff editorial, or a column or two detailing what happened. I know for a fact that Lamar Dixon, our student body president, wrote two letters to the editor — one as student body president, one as a Muslim student. I wrote a letter to the editor as an outraged journalism student. I’m sure there were more letters. It creates a nice big stir. So I opened up to the op-ed section with a little bit of masochistic glee and found….
No letters to the editor. No staff editorial. No statement.
It was as if the entire incident had never happened. The Communicator has officially, and swiftly, silenced its readers.
For a paper that stated it was informing its readers and creating a public forum for debate, The Communicator has performed a marvelous act in hypocrisy.
It was bad enough that the newspaper published the cartoons with little disregard to their relevance or to the audience it serves. But now the staff — more specifically, the editor-in-chief — has acted with outright malice and disregard to its readers in refusing to print the letters to the editor or allow any forum for debate in its papges.
Someone must burn for this. This cannot be tolerated, even for a college newspaper.
***UPDATE, 2/24: I was mistaken. The Communicator did run a special feature that included student responses, but it was in a separate insert not in the newspaper I picked up. I was wrong … but I still feel letters to the editor should have been included rather than an obscure corner of the newspaper. ***