Opinion

Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,   Last week The Temple News censored my letter to the editor and changed the phrase “pro-life” to “anti abortion” in an attempt to change the messaging behind my letter, which criticized a previously-written letter that attacked the GOP for being anti-contraception and perpetuating a so-called “war on women.” Whether or not you… Read more »

Dear Editor,

 

Last week The Temple News censored my letter to the editor and changed the phrase “pro-life” to “anti abortion” in an attempt to change the messaging behind my letter, which criticized a previously-written letter that attacked the GOP for being anti-contraception and perpetuating a so-called “war on women.”

Whether or not you agree with the points I made last week regarding the First Amendment right to freedom of religion, I think you should be concerned about what happened to my letter for several reasons.

This egregious violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech should have everyone concerned, mainly because of what purpose the editorial page should serve in any newspaper. Most publications have a bias one way or the other, and the letters to the editor page is often reserved for those who want to criticize and critique articles and previous letters written to the newspaper about previously written articles. This page is designed to come from readers, not the editor.

If opposing views are squashed, is there informational honesty in a newspaper?

When the letters to the editor become letters from the editor, we all know the newspaper has gone from an objective source of news to an apparatchik of one viewpoint over another.

While the paper claimed that the phrase “pro-life” is not recognized in the Associated Press style manual, and therefore not fit for publication, they did run the phrase twice in the letter from a Penn Student. That student was criticizing the pro-life movement in an attempt to delegitimize their viewpoints. Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn’t letters to the editor be outside of editorial purview so long as they are not ad-homonym attacks? The phrasing in my article was changed in an attempt to change the narrative behind my piece, which was civil to both sides of the pro-life and pro-choice argument.

Censoring and changing a phrase that may not be in agreement with a newspaper’s political views is unethical and purely wrong.

As Temple students, we deserve to have a newspaper that is impartial, non-biased, and accepting of all terminology, regardless of how it may threaten the viewpoints of the editor. I urge all readers to contact the editor at  editor@temple-news.com and urge them to promptly resign as a result of the censorship and distortion of an opposing viewpoint in last week’s newspaper.

 

Sincerely,

Erik Jacobs

President, Temple College

Republicans

 

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6 comments on “Letter to the editor

  1. Joe on said:

    This censoring is truly disturbing. I find it bothersome that an editor can make such decisions based purely off their own bias. This is a student paper and it such be reprehensible for such a deliberate attack on one’s free speech. I feel that we as students, or Mr. Jacobs at the very least, deserve an apology from the editor. The editor may have their excuses for why such editing was done but in the end it is still wrong and such actions should be followed by a published apology by the editor and followed by their termination.

  2. Michele O'Connell on said:

    I just looked on here and they have a disclaimer that letter can be edited for style, which is what they did it seems. To me this seems like just a case of this student making a stink over nothing to push HIS agendas, and not have an understanding that most media outlets do follow AP Style. The editor did their job and in no way does that require an apology. And that letter he referenced in here from the PSU student, if it’s the same one I just read the term was used in a quote, in which case it was correct to not switch it. dramadramadrama. So Joe, the editor made such decisions based on what’s the correct procedure, not based on their own bias. You guys are picking a fight with the wrong source..give AP a call.

  3. Eric Cedor on said:

    Michele, when researching an argument and posting a comment, please understand the entire issue being discussed. While the correct AP Style is to use the term “anti-abortion,” the correct AP Style is also to use “pro-abortion.” However, the editor kept the term pro-choice and only changed the term pro-life in Mr. Jacobs editorial. Therefore, there is a big First Amendment issue at play here that should be directed at the editor of the Temple News and not the Associated Press. The editor displayed bias and should be reprimanded.

    Eric Cedor
    Treasurer, Temple University College Republicans

  4. Michele O'Connell on said:

    No, you’re incorrect. I advise you pick up a styleguide. “The AP Stylebook advises using anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice.”

  5. Eric on said:

    Yet the term pro-choice was kept in the article instead of abortion rights.

  6. Doug on said:

    If anything, this was just a misinformed editor, not someone pushing their ideals through in your silly letter. The scary thing in itself is your letter. It’s terrifying knowing people with your beliefs are out there.

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