Oh dear. With Stepford students on a mission to make every university a safe space, there has been a clear shift in recent years when it comes to what can be classed offensive. Earlier this year Mr S reported how students in London were on a mission to ban free-speech societies. Now they have a new target in their sights: newspapers.
Although journalism is a competitive field, students at City University — which boasts one of the country’s top journalism departments — have today taken action to narrow the field further. Students have voted for a campus ban on the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express. Why? The student union has deemed the views expressed by these popular papers unacceptable — claiming their editorial lines fuel ‘fascism, racial tension and hatred in society’.
A British student union has outlawed newspapers whose editorials it disagrees with to combat 'fascism'. pic.twitter.com/YNPf0sYcFj
— Aidan Kerr (@AidanKerrPol) November 17, 2016
However, Mr S understands that many in the journalism facility are upset by the decision. George Brock, a former head of the journalism department at the university, tells Steerpike that the ban is ‘foolish, illiberal and meaningless’:
‘The students in the class I was teaching today were furious and understandably so at gesture politics from a fraction of the student body. They understand that the answer to journalism that you may not like is to do the journalism better.’
Professor Suzanne Franks, the department head, has issued a statement making clear that students on the journalism will continue to have access to the ‘views of publications and broadcasters across the industry’.
Mr S hopes the campus ban is overturned imminently. Students ought to realise that just because you disagree with a view, it doesn’t mean it should be banned. Journalism students in particular must understand that the best way to counter an argument is to debate it rather than use censorship to create an echo chamber.