To Speak or Not To Speak

That, evidently, is the question. Under the visionary leadership of Ms. Veronica Neufeld, myself and three other students tackled censorship in Winnipeg student media as a research project. The five of us sought to uncover whether or not students were censored by the powers that be at their educational institutions media outlets. Our findings, however, were more grave than any of us anticipated.

Through interviews with students, editors of school papers, and anonymous surveys conducted through the Internet, we came upon some rather distressing information. Initially, we assumed that some students' fringe viewpoints would be silenced by editors, administration, etc. We assumed that individuals with uncommon, outrageous, or offensive opinions were being ignored by The Projector, the Manitoban, and The Uniter, the campus papers of RRC, U of M, and U of W, respectively. We assumed it was the forums for discussion that were carefully moderating what was said. We were wrong.

We found that in most scenarios, it seemed the students were censoring themselves. Students commented that they wopuld refrain from voicing fringe opinions to avoid judgement from other students, or misunderstanding. Editors commented that they weren't receiving submissions from students concerning extremely controversial issues. I know if the case is that students don't care in our time, or that the issues seem external to our lives, but it appears the days of massive student demonstrations are behind us. I hope, though, that this is not true. Indeed, I may organize a demonstration of my own, invigorate my fellow fledgling scholars.

The video below is of the infamous University of Florida incident in which mass communications student Andrew Meyer was forcibly removed from a political forum in which Senator John Kerry was speaking after asking three questions. Meyer questioned Kerry's concession in the 2004 presidential election, Kerry's support, or lack thereof, of efforts to impeach George W. Bush, and Kerry's membership in the Yale University Skull And Bones secret society. After Meyer used the term 'blowjob' when speaking of Bill Clinton's impeachment, his mic was cut off. He continued to call out his questions, and then the happenings of the video below transpired. It's unlikely that every student agreed with Meyer's actions, or how he undertook them, but none assisted him. None. That's self-censorship in its own right.


Kenton Larsen said...

Is that self-censorship or the feeling that "the blowjob guy" got what he deserved?

At the very least, he inspired hundreds of songs called, "Don't taze me, bro."

Chuka Ejeckam said...

You're right, the students standing silently may simply have agreed with the officer's actions.

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