Alternative Voices on Campus

Newsflash: Conservative organizations are better galvanized than
their liberal counterparts. Tired story (incompetent leftist can?t
produce a fart with a can of beans). Typical setting (college
campuses across America). Or is it?

On the surface, it appears to be another variation on a worn-out
theme. Organizations like the Collegiate Network and Leadership
Institute fund approximately 80 conservative college newspapers,
viewing them as, ??a conveyer belt? that stretches from academic
research to marketing and mobilization,? report Emma Ruby-Sachs and
Timothy Waligore in The Nation. Meanwhile, alternative
college publications struggle with issues of underfunding and
frenetic organization. Alternative publications are filled with
??[people] who want to be fighting the good fight? ? but ??lose
sight of the end goals,? where conservative newspaper alumni ?fill
the ranks of think tanks and Capitol Hill offices as well as
journals of opinion and other media outlets.? This is especially
true for students on conservative college campuses.

A deeper look reveals two angles often neglected when
generalizing the ?liberal condition,? both in American media in
general and in college publications specifically. First, the
alternative press demonstrates that ?a separate publication devoted
to opinion journalism can make a much greater impact than a few
scattered op-eds in the established daily paper.? In 2001
Dartmouth Free Press procured an advance copy of the
college?s report on institutionalizing diversity. As a result,
Free Press produced an entire issue analyzing the report
from many perspectives. By contrast, the mainstream campus daily
printed a brief article after the report was made public. Second
and most importantly, alternative publications are subject to
censorship and loss of funding for publishing criticism of the
establishment. Look for an upcoming Supreme Court ruling that will
determine whether Governor?s State University?s Innovator
is a non-public forum subject to censorship by college
?Erin Ferdinand

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