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Home » Editorials, Featured

Bandits trash papers, attack free speech

Submitted by Matt Johnson on April 8, 2012 – 12:22 pmNo Comment
Illustration by Sarah Melero

Illustration by Sarah Melero

The March 14 edition of The Forum headlined a story about a complaint of alleged hazing. Coincidentally, when that particular issue hit newsstands, someone saw fit to dump hundreds of copies into trash bins on campus.

This is upsetting on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that many hours of hard work go into each issue. The words and photos do not magically appear on the page. People spend long hours and get paid relatively little to put together a newspaper that we can be proud of. The only reason anyone would get into the profession of journalism is to feed their passion.

Not only did this act belittle the labor of our hardworking staff, it trampled on the First Amendment rights that are bestowed on us by the Bill of Rights. By silencing the Fourth Estate, these thieves have placed a barrier between the press and the very people it is meant to serve.

These bandits have absconded with the press’ rights to inform the population on relevant topics of the day, while simultaneously taking the information from the population itself. Shall we, your university newspaper staff, cower in fear; dismayed and disquieted at the chance of more issues containing a story that someone or some group might not agree with, finding a similar fate? You can rest assured that we will not hang our heads. We are The UALR Forum and we have taken every opportunity to make this a publication you can be proud of.

We may never uncover who committed these crimes, and that’s what they are; crimes. But I will leave whomever it is with this final thought; imagine you’ve worked very hard to put something together that you’re proud of. Think about the hours you’ve spent making sure it’s as good as it can be. Now, imagine someone coming along, snatching it from your hands and throwing it in the garbage.

Shame is what you should feel, but I doubt your ability to even truly understand its meaning.

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