Newspaper program a good start, but problems exist

Cameron Kramlich

On Monday our college took a major step in bursting the so-called “Lawrence Bubble” by populating residence halls newspaper racks with fresh copies of The New York Times, USA Today, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal and The Chicago Tribune. The knowledge gleaned from the daily reading of newspapers promotes the intelligent discourse that lies at the heart of a liberal arts education. Unfortunately, implementation has not lived up to this noble idea because Lawrence has not sufficiently dealt with several coincident issues. The newspapers chosen for this program show a certain degree of liberal bias. In America we have three major daily newspapers, USA Today, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal. Out of these three only USA Today and the New York Times are delivered to residence halls. USA Today has little political thought and reading “the nation’s newspaper” requires little thought. The New York Times has all of the liberal news that is fit to print. The Wall Street Journal likewise has a conservative bias. An educated person must read both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to understand the day’s news and filter through the various political slants. Without a conservative antidote to the New York Times, Lawrentians are discouraged to think in a free fashion.

Likewise, denizens of small houses and fraternities should not be less encouraged to think freely than Lawrentians in residence halls. With so much talk about residential equality on campus, it is extremely discouraging that the university feels the need to discriminate against a campus minority. Other potential distribution points exist, such as Downer Commons, the library or the Student Union, that could provide more equitable access.

Presently LUCC is sponsoring the pilot program that has brought the newspapers to campus. Although presently financed by an outside corporation, with a projected annual cost of $20,000, delivering newspapers to residence halls could potentially radically alter the financial situation behind LUCC. Delivering daily newspapers to students is a great idea because the cost at just north of $15 per year is much less than a subscription to any of the included newspapers. I just ask whether LUCC is the proper vehicle to finance this idea.

Daily newspapers provide great value to students and significantly further Lawrence’s mission as an educational institution. Hopefully in its deliberations, LUCC will be able to create a situation that promotes intellectual discourse among all students instead of biased thought among a fraction of campus.