On Sept. 27, The State Press published Meredith Walker’s letter to the editor titled, “Islam: a not so peaceful religion.” The letter detailed how liberals defend Islam, despite its alleged reputation of having a violent ideology. It does not represent the views of The State Press.
As a news organization, we recognize the multitude of unpopular sentiments in our community and the letters section of the opinion page serves as a forum for students to voice ideas.
Walker’s letter has generated and promoted more thoughts on tolerance than any editorial we could have written. Her letter reminds students that issues of intolerance and discrimination remain prevalent and immediately impact students. She has taken issues from the global dialogue and inserted them into a local, university landscape, perhaps in a place where students feel most vulnerable and affected. Students have the opportunity to teach one another by listening and responding to important thoughts. As a news organization, we honor the freedom of expression and speech and we do not censor opinions because they are unpopular or uncomfortable to deal with.
We have received some backlash on some of our stories and opinion pieces — some of them defensive, while others are unnecessarily cruel. It is convenient to have an emotional response, but the next step is to produce a rational response, to internalize opposing ideas because they create in us better thinkers and better citizens.
A newspaper is a vehicle through which powerful information can be delivered. Media outlets have the power — and responsibility — to shape and challenge public discourse.
In order to do so effectively, we aim to bring all opinions, even unpopular ones, into the spotlight for intense, but rational, scrutiny and examination.
The Editorial Board