Staff Editorial – Censorship not an option

The U.S. Constitution’s primary designation is to defend the inalienable rights of American citizens. The highest form of that independence is the right to live as a unique individual without censorship or restriction of thought, so long as the actions do not pose a threat.

The autonomy granted by this right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, protects the opinions of individual citizens. It is the right of each and every American to construct, accept and express a unique set of beliefs, regardless of whether or not these beliefs conform to popular thought.

Censorship of an opinion is a violation of the Constitution and, more importantly, a violation of the individual or individuals expressing the belief. That is why we at The Oswegonian publish the opinions of students and faculty, no matter what the organization’s official stance is on the topic.

If a column or letter is published as opinion, then it is to be regarded as just that. All entries will be corrected for grammatical and style fallacies, but will not be modified for conformity or to lessen the degree of the comment.

The opinion section of the newspaper is the publication’s one and only forum entirely dedicated to expression; thus, it is the only portion of the newspaper where it is acceptable to favor a side, issue a bias, or express personal beliefs.

Remaining sections of The Oswegonian proudly feature content that is derived from factual information and is supported and verified by sources related to the story. It is essential that the only voices in the story are that of the sources; the writer may only play the role of the narrator.

The priority of reporting is to cover all sides of a story and to present all relevant information while avoiding any such language that would incorporate the writer’s personal beliefs.

It is unacceptable for these biases to appear in the reports, reviews or features in the remaining sections of the newspaper. It is equally unacceptable for the newspaper to reject or redefine these biases in the opinion section.

Ultimately, we support all of our writers and their right to express their opinions, even if we do not support their opinions.

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