In its February 15 issue, the Communicator at Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne published the 12-cartoon series originally featured in Denmark that featured anti-Islamic messages and has sent the international community into a frenzy.
In its staff editorial, the Communicator said, "As a newspaper The Communicator has an obligation to report the whole story. The Communicator has decided to print the 12 cartoons based on the fact that they are newsworthy and the public deserves the entire story behind the world-wide violence."
Our duty as journalists is to inform the public. It is to alert them to the world around them. One cannot expect to enter a career in journalism without the full expectation of a career in public service. Journalists are expected to go against the very grain of human nature – to be unbiased, to be unselfish, and to act in the best interest of our audience.
What The Communicator chose to run on the opinion section of its February 15 issue violates the tenets that journalists strive to live by. Just as doctors pledge to “do no harm,” we as journalists must pledge the same to ourselves and the public we serve. What possible good did it do to the IPFW and Fort Wayne communities to run the cartoons that have indirectly led to havoc and deaths worldwide? What possible benefit did it serve to the readers of the student newspaper?
Perhaps a more accurate question to ask – what benefit did it serve The Communicator?
Was it a result of ulterior motives of publicity? To create a stir? Is The Communicator so desperate for attention that it must resort to cheap tricks? If people at IPFW wanted to see these cartoons, a simple Google search would yield the same product. If it is a stir The Communicator wishes to create, write a poignant column. Write a news story focusing on a controversial issue. Ask students what they feel about an issue, such as the anti-Islam cartoons.