Campus free speech and the campus press

Posted on Apr 2, 2013 in Columns

“and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”       

             – Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Colonel Edward Carrington (16 January 1787)

On campus, the role of the press in shaping discourse cannot be under-stated.  Student journalism contributes to academic debate on a wide array of subjects, some controversial and some not.

On March 2, Campus Freedom Index co-author Michael Kennedy made a presentation to members of the Canadian University Press at the Atlantic Canadian University Press (ARCUP) conference. The event included approximately 30 student journalists from campuses across Atlantic Canada gathered in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Michael’s presentation about the 2012 Campus Freedom Index was a wake-up call to the student journalists to be proactive and vigilant in defending free speech on campus. The campus press is in a unique position to reach a wide audience when students face censorship, and can pressure university and student union leadership to refrain from shutting down students and student groups on the basis of their views.

The JCCF is honoured to be a resource to members of the campus press as well as students in general, who need advice and assistance fighting censorship on campus.