While Burl Osborne is a strong believer in the right to free speech, he said that ” the urge to censor is the reaction of well-intended people to the expression of views that they find repugnant.”
Osborne, who serves as the president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors as well as the editor and publisher of The Dallas Morning News spoke of campus censorship in a meeting in the Student Unions Arizona Ballroom yesterday.
Osborne says that many campuses around the country have instated policies against “offensive speech” and “expression” of students, with penalties that range from visits with a psychologist to expulsion. “Behavior that complies with what is deemed to be proper is politically correct,” says Osborne. “Censorship has become the strategy of choice.
Several examples of campus censorship were given in Osbornes speech. One example was of the University of Connecticut, which prohibited “inappropriately directed laughter” and “conspicuous exclusion of students from conversations.” Another example used discussed the protesting of an “All-American Halloween Ball” by the student senate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison on the grounds that masked students may anonymously insult other students.
Osborne says that the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) will continue efforts to support the values of the first amendment. “I hope that ASNE will study what is happening on the campuses.”
Osborne says “if we hope to make good on this countrys promises of freedom to speak ones mind, then we are not going about it in a very productive way.
” Osborne says that ” What we should be doing is defending and promoting the right of free speech; that is the best way to persuade each other of the moral validity of the civil treatment of everyone.”