Newsworthiness is not a valid justification

by The Beacon / Beacon Staff • March 15, 2006

staff members that they cannot be expected to check with every ethnic or religious group before publishing a piece for fear of offense, but there is clear evidence that this cartoon would offend and, therefore, another action needed to be taken.

The cartoons were deemed a good source of information by The Beacon and the staff felt it was responsible for giving this critical piece of information to its audience.

There are two things I have been taught almost too many times in my academic writing career: that I must always remember who my audience is and that I should not belittle them, patronize them or piss them off.

I had hoped that by attending this forum, I would be able to comprehend the other side of this argument, but instead, I felt as if the opposition was bullheaded.

I was told it was a decision made by people of like minds, that they put a lot of thought into it (which I have no doubt), and that they felt this was the only way to get the information across to their audience.

But is it morally or ethically correct to knowingly hurt others to provide news? I would never call for censorship, but I do call for respect.

We have the right to speak; we have the right to print different opinions; we even have the right to speak and print things that hurt other people, but it does not mean we should do it.

Seeing this image did not make me understand the how or the why of this conflict, but it may have for some.

The information came to The Beacon and its staff had to prioritize.

They chose to consciously offend Muslims and others in forcing them to see an image in order to provide the people with the information they were told they needed.

But as easily as The Beacon found this cartoon on the Internet, those individuals who wanted to see the cartoon could have searched Google without hurting, offending or ignoring the faiths of anyone else.

Editor in Chief Cyra Master stated The Beacon policy on publishing offensive material is on a "case by case basis."

In this case, it seems The Beacon should have put respect before newsworthiness.

Kyler Taustin is a freshman BA theatre studies major and a contributor to The Beacon.