Southwestern College’s student newspaper caught in censorship scandal

As student journalists we are often thought of as inexperienced, unprofessional or unimportant. However, if you look at the current landscape of journalism, most of the biggest names in news began their careers working for the college newspaper or TV station.

We take our craft very seriously and expect to be treated as professionals. At Riverside City College we are lucky enough to have our First Amendment rights respected.

Unfortunately, our peers at Southwestern College are not so lucky. The administration there recently stop publishing the student run newspaper after it published articles critical of the administration in advance of an upcoming election.

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By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

As student journalists we are often thought of as inexperienced, unprofessional or unimportant. However, if you look at the current landscape of journalism, most of the biggest names in news began their careers working for the college newspaper or TV station.

We take our craft very seriously and expect to be treated as professionals. At Riverside City College we are lucky enough to have our First Amendment rights respected.

Unfortunately, our peers at Southwestern College are not so lucky. The administration there recently stop publishing the student run newspaper after it published articles critical of the administration in advance of an upcoming election.

The college claims that the paper was in violation of a purchasing policy that says the paper needs administrative approval for printing costs.

However, upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the real issue is that The Sun, Southwestern’s award winning paper, is doing the job of all good journalists and questioning authority.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Southwestern College’s accreditation status was put on probation due to “a culture of fear and intimidation.”

Wow, that sounds like something you would hear in Iran or North Korea, not San Diego. Apparently, the administration has a long history of suspending or punishing anyone who questions its decisions.

What Southwestern’s administration doesn’t understand is that free speech is not only for the speech you like. True advocates of the First Amendment stand up for the rights of their bitter enemies because they know that once one person loses the right of free expression it’s not long before everyone’s rights are in question.

As journalists not living in a dystopian society, it is up to the rest of us to make sure that The Sun’s voices aren’t silenced, because there’s always a chance that we could next to have our freedom challenged.

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