Editing and Censorship Aren't the Same

By Terry, John | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), June 5, 1994 | Go to article overview

Editing and Censorship Aren't the Same


Terry, John, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The school paper at the University of Miami felt compelled to accept and run an ad claiming the Holocaust never happened, and because it did, a prospective donor said he's thinking about withholding a large donation he had pledged.

Good for him.

Newspaper editorialists who have criticized this would-be donor need to get a grip on their guilt and get over the notion that they're going back on a sacred oath if they don't provide a forum for crackpot ideas. Would any responsible newspaper - be it The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle or the University of Miami's student newspaper - accept and run an ad advocating, say, a nuclear attack on Minneapolis? Or an ad saying all black people should he barred from going to college? How about an ad featuring a graphic depiction of a sex act?

Of course they wouldn't. So it is a mystery why the question of censorship - obviously not relevant to the above examples - should enter into the debate over an equally loony and thoroughly objectionable ad claiming the Holocaust never happened.

Acceptance or rejection of this ad, the editors of the paper should understand, has nothing to do with censorship. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. And it has nothing to do with freedom of the press. It has to do with exercising the sort of judgment that every newspaper exercises every day - deciding what will and won't go into their paper. It's called editing.

Newspapers are not obliged to publish everything that's submitted to them, and they are not guilty of censorship when they don't. They turn away ads all the time, along with reams of editorial material, and no one accuses them of violating free speech or curtailing the expression of ideas. No one's rights are being violated when their woe goes unpublished, and no one would argue that freedom of speech is the same thing as unrestricted access to the mass media.

Freedom of speech means people can believe, and say, what they want, including ideas that most people find repugnant. But it doesn't mean they have the right to use somebody else's privately owned news medium to say it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Editing and Censorship Aren't the Same
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.