By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
“If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.” -Thomas Jefferson
No more should negativity or skepticism be given a voice in the Optimist.
No more should we ask why the Homecoming people couldn’t clean up their own mess. No more questioning where exactly the line should be drawn between worship and distraction. And certainly no more attempts to shed light on the controversial aspects of the new Chapel policy.
Those who write on the Views page should discuss only matters that are wholesome, uplifting and positive. The Optimist certainly does not want to rock the boat.
All this time I had thought the role of a free press in a free society was to act as watchdog, to shed light on the darkness, to engage the public in debate about important issues.
I had thought Thomas Jefferson’s quote about choosing a free press over government meant the press needed to be skeptical, needed to highlight the controversies, needed to appear negative to enhance the greater positive that full disclosure and public debate bring.
But perhaps not.
Instead, the Optimist should be a puppet for positivity, optimism and the status quo. The First Amendment need not be invoked because the student body doesn’t want to hear negativity.
Most students want devos and worship and love; they don’t want war, conflict or debate.
The Optimist promises to do better. The free-thinkers on the staff will try to rein themselves in and make the Views page look on the bright side of life.
But I think we’ll fail-the journalists on the staff are too devoted to the open forum and First Amendment opportunities it provides.
Sad to say, but seeking the truth will always defeat the non-virtues of ignorance, apathy and blind optimism.