Oct 082007
Authors: J. David McSwane

Any good editor would be upset to find out some readers are unhappy with the diversity of coverage and voices in the newspaper.

In the case of the College Republicans, however, their whining has not kept me awake at night.

As a matter of policy, we work to employ writers and columnists with different backgrounds and a diversity of ideas and beliefs. It’s in our mission statement and obvious in our “more the merrier” hiring process.

Simply put, the CSU College Republicans don’t have a leg stand on in their claim that the Collegian doesn’t offer them a platform for discourse.

Anyone who reads the Collegian knows we’ve been known to print conservative, often unpopular, opinions on page four. I don’t manage columnists or editorial cartoonists, which is the way it should be.

It’s about objectivity, transparency and allowing the free flow of ideas – all foundations in my leadership at the Collegian.

Because of this, writers like Nick Hemenway still have jobs and are not censored in their opinions and – more recently – criticisms of me. One columnist wrote a piece titled: “David McSwane is a chump.”

We printed pages of letters to the editor that directly attacked me, the paper and, occasionally, my family.

So, anyone who says the Collegian Editorial Board censors the views of the right must lack the cognitive capacity to understand the definition of opinion and, more alarming, the role of the media in society.

Chelsea Penoyer, chairwoman for the CSU College Republicans, has made claims that she wasn’t hired at the Collegian because of her views. To my knowledge, she’s never applied for a position at this paper. If she can write and offer an opinion, she has the same opportunity as any student at CSU.

We don’t lack conservative voices, nor does this university, the state or the mainstream media. We printed profanity next to the president’s name, and the media brought hell to our doorstep. If that’s a liberal bias, I’m terrified to see what a conservative bias looks like.

For the sake of constructive debate, I would encourage the College Republicans to take a step back and think about their motivations.

Sure, you want a conservative newsletter. Awesome. Good luck.

But is it really because you’ve been disillusioned by the Collegian’s content? If so, I fear the real world has many lessons for you – critical media consumption being the first.

If anyone has a legitimate complaint against the Collegian’s coverage, it’s minority students, the GLBT population and non-traditional students. We’ve made huge strides to address these issues.

I hope you don’t mind, College Republicans, but I think their voices are more needed on this campus.

Editor in Chief J. David McSwane is a junior technical journalism major. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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