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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Staff Editorial: Student newspapers must maintain freedom of speech

As if corporate conglomerates haven’t merged media outlets enough, they are now after college newspapers.

The Rocky Mountain Collegian, famous for publishing the "Taser this… Fuck Bush" editorial last fall, is facing an entirely different issue this spring.

The Gannett Company, owner of The Fort Collins Coloradoan has offered to buy the Collegian, The New York Times reported Monday.

The mere attempt of Gannett to purchase the Collegian is an insult to the concept of a free and independent media. Reasoning behind the offer is clearly an issue of money.

College students are lucky in the sense that they can submit a letter to the editor or an opinion piece and almost assuredly see it in print soon after. The university atmosphere is one of questioning authority and its decisions and rhetoric – which should be apparent in any university newspaper. A buyout from a company that owns two other student publications, according to The New York Times, would surely steer away from that ideal.

Last semester the editors of the Collegian faced repercussions on their own terms as an independent student-run newspaper.

A college newspaper owned by a larger corporation would be responsible to that company’s interests rather than student concerns.

Ultimately, the company owning the publication would be able to decide what is and what isn’t fit to print rather than let students make those decisions as an independent body, free of corporate pressures to not follow a story because of it potentially offending a sponsor.

Gannett doesn’t have a legitimate stake in CSU’s issues that affect so many students, especially with freedom of expression in the Collegian.

The company has dollar signs from advertising revenue on its mind – it would have no stake in investing in students that seek to find answers to its leaders’ decisions and the reasons behind them.

CSU is considering whether to discuss the issue further, according to The New York Times.

The Collegian needs CSU students to step up and protest any sort of buyout. CSU officials should not consider it an option.

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