Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007-2008 Named

The media research organization Project Censored has released its annual list of the Top 25 most censored stories in the US media.

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Project Censored has released its list of the “Top 25 Censored Stories” of 2007-2008. The annual list compiled by Project Censored ranks stories that are the subject of “modern censorship” which it defines as:

“the subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality in our mass media outlets. On a daily basis, censorship refers to the intentional non-inclusion of a news story – or piece of a news story – based on anything other than a desire to tell the truth. Such manipulation can take the form of political pressure (from government officials and powerful individuals), economic pressure (from advertisers and funders), and legal pressure (the threat of lawsuits from deep-pocket individuals, corporations, and institutions).”

The top 5 stories from the 2009 list:

#1 Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation

Over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business (ORB). These numbers suggest that the invasion and occupation of Iraq rivals the mass killings of the last century–the human toll exceeds the 800,000 to 900,000 believed killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and is approaching the number (1.7 million) who died in Cambodia’s infamous “Killing Fields” during the Khmer Rouge era of the 1970s.

ORB’s research covered fifteen of Iraq’s eighteen provinces. Those not covered include two of Iraq’s more volatile regions–Kerbala and Anbar–and the northern province of Arbil, where local authorities refused them a permit to work. In face-to-face interviews with 2,414 adults, the poll found that more than one in five respondents had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, as opposed to natural cause.

#2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA

Leaders of Canada, the US, and Mexico have been meeting to secretly expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with “deep integration” of a more militarized tri-national Homeland Security force. Taking shape under the radar of the respective governments and without public knowledge or consideration, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)–headquartered in Washington–aims to integrate the three nations into a single political, economic, and security bloc.

The SPP was launched at a meeting of Presidents George W. Bush and Vicente Fox, and Prime Minister Paul Martin, in Waco, Texas, on March 31, 2005. The official US web page describes the SPP as “. . . a White House-led initiative among the United States and Canada and Mexico to increase security and to enhance prosperity . . .” The SPP is not a law, or a treaty, or even a signed agreement. All these would require public debate and participation of Congress.

#3 InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business

More than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect and provide information on fellow Americans. In return, members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public, and at times before elected officials. “There is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate Total Information Awareness program (TIPS), turning private-sector corporations–some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers–into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI,” according to an ACLU report titled “The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society.”

InfraGard, with members from 350 companies of the Fortune 500, started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats. “Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.

#4 ILEA: Is the US Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America?

A resurgence of US-backed militarism threatens peace and democracy in Latin America. By 2005, US military aid to Latin America had increased by thirty-four times the amount spent in 2000. In a marked shift in US military strategy, secretive training of Latin American military and police personnel that used to just take place at the notorious School of the Americas, in Fort Benning, Georgia–including torture and execution techniques–is now decentralized. The 2008 US federal budget includes $16.5 million to fund an International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in El Salvador, with satellite operations in Peru. With provision of immunity from charges of crimes against humanity, each academy will train an average of 1,500 police officers, judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officials throughout Latin America per year in “counterterrorism techniques.”

The academy in El Salvador is part of a network of ILEAs created in 1995 under President Bill Clinton, who touted the training facilities as a series of US schools “throughout the world to combat international drug trafficking, criminality, and terrorism through strengthened international cooperation.” There are ILEAs in Budapest, Hungary; Bangkok, Thailand; Gaborone, Botswana; and Roswell, New Mexico.

#5 Seizing War Protesters’ Assets

President Bush has signed two executive orders that would allow the US Treasury Department to seize the property of any person perceived to, directly or indirectly, pose a threat to US operations in the Middle East.

The first of these executive orders, titled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq,” signed by Bush on July 17, 2007, authorizes the Secretary of Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to confiscate the assets of US citizens and organizations who “directly or indirectly” pose a risk to US operations in Iraq.

Read the rest of the stories.

The Persistence of Censorship

As often as I can I ride my bicycle to get around town. The bike sports several stickers, one which says, “Fuck Clear Channel.” Clear Channel is the largest radio station monopoly in the US, owning over 1,200 radio stations that play a very narrow spectrum of music and features talk show hosts like Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh. Their CEO has been a big supporter of the Bush administration and after September 11,2001 decided to censor certain musicians who were critical of the US War on Terrorism, particularly the US war in Iraq. This is exactly why I have a “Fuck Clear Channel” sticker on my bike, because Clear Channel really pisses me off. Somehow a sticker that says “Clear Channel is bad” or “Clear Channel limits free speech” just doesn’t convey the emotion that “Fuck Clear Channel” does.

However, we do live in a society where people are easily offended by the F-word. I used to lock my bike to an indoor bike rack when I worked on the Westside. One day there was a complaint from a library patron that my bike was offensive and my former boss told me to park it somewhere else. I said it was a matter of free speech, to which he said, “that it is not a battle worth fighting for.” Some of us involved in anti-war organizing have had a similar reaction when people displayed signs that read “Fuck War.” Some people, even in anti-war circles, thought that the poster was offensive and violent. Look, if you can’t use the word fuck to express feelings about cluster bombs ripping a child’s body apart, the use of torture, shooting innocent civilians, breaking into people’s homes in the middle of the night, putting bags over their heads and taking them to a detention center – then when can you use the work fuck? For some it conveys a very raw sense of outrage about the very nature of war and I never want to tell people how they should express their feelings about it. To limit the way in which people feel about war would be nothing short of censorship.

Censorship itself can be manifest in a variety of ways. The government can pass legislation that limits speech, like they did during World War I, when it was illegal to speak out against the war. During the McCarthy years of anti-Communism many actors and film directors were targeted and accused of being connected to the Communist Party (CP). Even though many in Hollywood had no affiliation with the CP some gave the government names of others in the industry in order to clear their own names. Another form of censorship that has been an ongoing part of US history is the banning of books. Some books have been banned because of sexual content while others because of their politics. Even The Grapes of Wrath, considered by many to be a classic, suffered censorship from both the government and publishing circles. In 1940 the magazine Collier’s condemned its portrait of the mistreatment of migrant workers as “propaganda for the idea that we ought to change our system for the Russian system.” Because of the position that this magazine took, many municipal libraries would not carry the book. An excellent resource that documents this type of censorship in the 20th century is the book From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America.

These forms of censorship just cited still continue today. The newest volume in the Harry Potter series is due out this month and you can bet that there will be protests from the religious right to have it banned from community bookstores. This type of censorship will most likely get media attention, but there are other forms of censorship that happen under the radar screen. As I write this article DePaul University Professor Norman Finkelstein has been denied tenure because he has written several books that critique the Israeli oppression of Palestinians. However, Finkelstein is not the only professor to be targeted in recent years. Native American scholar and professor Ward Churchill has also come under fire in Colorado because of his stance on 9/11. In fact, there is an organized effort to censor teachers in this country by a group called Americans for Victory Over Terrorism, which includes the like of Lynne Cheney and William Bennett. They have been targeting college professors who don’t wave the flag. This group has also been joined by Campus Watch, a right-wing group headed by Daniel Pipes that engages in modern-day witch hunts against professors who are critical of US policy in the Middle East.

The news media itself engages in a variety of forms of censorship. First, by not covering stories such as the case of Professor Finkelstein mentioned earlier. How many of you saw news coverage of the demonstration in Washington, DC in early June on the 40th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestine? Another form of news censorship is their limited use of sources in reporting. Who’s voices do we hear and not hear when it comes to important issues like global warming, the war in Iraq, the economy and electoral politics? We see this all the time in our monitoring of the local news. Lastly, news agencies engage in censorship because many of the reporters will not pursue certain stories. This is called self-censorship and happens in every newsroom across the country.

There is also censorship of artistic expression. A few months ago there was a big battle in Wilton, Connecticut because the high school tried to ban a play that students had developed called “Voices in Conflict.” The play dramatized the realities of war through first person accounts. The school administration felt it was not appropriate and banned the play. Not to be discouraged the students took the play on the road and performed to sell out crowds on the east coast. Closer to home there is the recent threats made against the Super Happy Funtime Burlesque Show. Apparently, bogus flyers were put up near the police department with the intent of discrediting the group. GRPD vice officers descended on one of their shows only to find that the accusations were false. When a special performance was scheduled for the Wealthy Theatre the GRPD threatened to make it hard for the theater to get a liquor license if they allowed the show. Fortunately the show still happened but just the threat of repercussions against such groups means that sometimes they will chose to censor themselves or the venues that host such shows may chose to not allow such performances in the future for “financial” reasons…which is just another form of censorship.

I share these stories because I think that it is critical, especially now in this country, that we do not tolerate censorship. People need to be free to take critical positions, to dissent, and to speak their minds. We all have to have courage to not back down because we need to “protect our job” or because we “don’t want to alienate people.” At the same time the idea of freedom of speech should not be taken lightly nor squandered. Current technology allows many of us to communicate in a variety of forms that can reach thousands, even millions of people. So when you do speak, speak boldly, communicate with passion and conviction. We must not let other others silence us and we should never silence ourselves. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “Silence is the voice of complicity.”

Top 25 Censored Stories of 2005-2006

Project Censored, a media research group at Sonoma State University, has released its annual list of news stories that have been “overlooked, underreported, or self-censored” by the United States’ corporate media. Among the top areas ignored are the debate over the future of the internet, Halliburton’s selling of nuclear technology to Iran, and the threat to the world’s oceans.

Project Censored, a media research group at Sonoma State University, has released its annual list of news stories that have been “overlooked, underreported, or self-censored” by the country’s major national news media. The stories are reviewed each year by a panel of more than 200 Sonoma State faculty, students, and community members and ranked in terms of their social significance and over all importance.

The top 5 censored stories of 2005 to 2006:

1. Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media

Throughout 2005 and 2006, a large underground debate raged regarding the future of the Internet. More recently referred to as “network neutrality,” the issue has become a tug of war with cable companies on the one hand and consumers and Internet service providers on the other. Yet despite important legislative proposals and Supreme Court decisions throughout 2005, the issue was almost completely ignored in the headlines until 2006.1 And, except for occasional coverage on CNBC’s Kudlow & Kramer, mainstream television remains hands-off to this day (June 2006).

Most coverage of the issue framed it as an argument over regulation—but the term “regulation” in this case is somewhat misleading. Groups advocating for “net neutrality” are not promoting regulation of internet content. What they want is a legal mandate forcing cable companies to allow internet service providers (ISPs) free access to their cable lines (called a “common carriage” agreement). This was the model used for dial-up internet, and it is the way content providers want to keep it. They also want to make sure that cable companies cannot screen or interrupt internet content without a court order.

2. Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran

According to journalist Jason Leopold, sources at former Cheney company Halliburton allege that, as recently as January of 2005, Halliburton sold key components for a nuclear reactor to an Iranian oil development company. Leopold says his Halliburton sources have intimate knowledge of the business dealings of both Halliburton and Oriental Oil Kish, one of Iran’s largest private oil companies.

Additionally, throughout 2004 and 2005, Halliburton worked closely with Cyrus Nasseri, the vice chairman of the board of directors of Iran-based Oriental Oil Kish, to develop oil projects in Iran. Nasseri is also a key member of Iran’s nuclear development team. Nasseri was interrogated by Iranian authorities in late July 2005 for allegedly providing Halliburton with Iran’s nuclear secrets. Iranian government officials charged Nasseri with accepting as much as $1 million in bribes from Halliburton for this information.

Oriental Oil Kish dealings with Halliburton first became public knowledge in January 2005 when the company announced that it had subcontracted parts of the South Pars gas-drilling project to Halliburton Products and Services, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Halliburton that is registered to the Cayman Islands. Following the announcement, Halliburton claimed that the South Pars gas field project in Tehran would be its last project in Iran. According to a BBC report, Halliburton, which took thirty to forty million dollars from its Iranian operations in 2003, “was winding down its work due to a poor business environment.”

However, Halliburton has a long history of doing business in Iran, starting as early as 1995, while Vice President Cheney was chief executive of the company. Leopold quotes a February 2001 report published in the Wall Street Journal, “Halliburton Products and Services Ltd., works behind an unmarked door on the ninth floor of a new north Tehran tower block. A brochure declares that the company was registered in 1975 in the Cayman Islands, is based in the Persian Gulf sheikdom of Dubai and is “non-American.” But like the sign over the receptionist’s head, the brochure bears the company’s name and red emblem, and offers services from Halliburton units around the world.” Moreover mail sent to the company’s offices in Tehran and the Cayman Islands is forwarded directly to its Dallas headquarters.

3. Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger

Oceanic problems once found on a local scale are now pandemic. Data from oceanography, marine biology, meteorology, fishery science, and glaciology reveal that the seas are changing in ominous ways. A vortex of cause and effect wrought by global environmental dilemmas is changing the ocean from a watery horizon with assorted regional troubles to a global system in alarming distress.

According to oceanographers the oceans are one, with currents linking the seas and regulating climate. Sea temperature and chemistry changes, along with contamination and reckless fishing practices, intertwine to imperil the world’s largest communal life source.

In 2005, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found clear evidence the ocean is quickly warming. They discovered that the top half-mile of the ocean has warmed dramatically in the past forty years as a result of human-induced greenhouse gases.

4. Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US

The number of hungry and homeless people in U.S. cities continued to grow in 2005, despite claims of an improved economy. Increased demand for vital services rose as needs of the most destitute went unmet, according to the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Report, which has documented increasing need since its 1982 inception.

The study measures instances of emergency food and housing assistance in twenty-four U.S. cities and utilizes supplemental information from the U.S. Census and Department of Labor. More than three-quarters of cities surveyed reported increases in demand for food and housing, especially among families. Food aid requests expanded by 12 percent in 2005, while aid center and food bank resources grew by only 7 percent. Service providers estimated 18 percent of requests went unattended. Housing followed a similar trend, as a majority of cities reported an increase in demand for emergency shelter, often going unmet due to lack of resources.

As urban hunger and homelessness increases in America, the Bush administration is planning to eliminate a U.S. survey widely used to improve federal and state programs for low-income and retired Americans, reports Abid Aslam. President Bush’s proposed budget for fiscal 2007, which begins October 2006, includes a Commerce Department plan to eliminate the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The proposal marks at least the third White House attempt in as many years to do away with federal data collection on politically prickly economic issues. Founded in 1984, the Census Bureau survey follows American families for a number of years and monitors their use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, child care, and other health, social service, and education programs.

5. High-Tech Genocide in Congo

The world’s most neglected emergency, according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, is the ongoing tragedy of the Congo, where six to seven million have died since 1996 as a consequence of invasions and wars sponsored by western powers trying to gain control of the region’s mineral wealth. At stake is control of natural resources that are sought by U.S. corporations—diamonds, tin, copper, gold, and more significantly, coltan and niobium, two minerals necessary for production of cell phones and other high-tech electronics; and cobalt, an element essential to nuclear, chemical, aerospace, and defense industries.

Columbo-tantalite, i.e. coltan, is found in three-billion-year-old soils like those in the Rift Valley region of Africa. The tantalum extracted from the coltan ore is used to make tantalum capacitors, tiny components that are essential in managing the flow of current in electronic devices. Eighty percent of the world’s coltan reserves are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Niobium is another high-tech mineral with a similar story.

Sprocket reports that the high-tech boom of the 1990s caused the price of coltan to skyrocket to nearly $300 per pound. In 1996 U.S.-sponsored Rwandan and Ugandan forces entered eastern DRC. By 1998 they seized control and moved into strategic mining areas. The Rwandan Army was soon making $20 million or more a month from coltan mining. Though the price of coltan has fallen, Rwanda maintains its monopoly on coltan and the coltan trade in DRC. Reports of rampant human rights abuses pour out of this mining region.

View the complete list or view the 2004-2005 or 2003-2004 lists.

Editor’s Note

Reprinted from Wake Up! (February 1983)

This issue of Wake Up! Is something of a collection of what may seem to some of our audience as “old news.” But we are striving to present an overall picture of important issues which remain unresolved and indeed go to the heart of the real problem at G.V.S.C. We cover the graffiti incident of last semester with photos by Randy Austin-Cardona as well as an anonymous letter submitted to us by mail by an individual who claims to be the culprit. We include a transcript of the Student Senate’s inquisition of the Lanthorn’s editor Becky Burkert who was called before that body to answer certain questions concerning that paper’s editorial policies, which some have claimed to be unfairly biased against the Senate’s actions regarding the colleges’ censorship of the x-rated film “Inserts.” Wake Up! Also presents transcripts from the Student Senate deliberations exposing some of the debate which has occurred internally as they have wrestled with this important issue of administrative ignorance of the constitutional rights of Grand Valley students.

We also hope that people who are concerned about the precise nature of the events and attitudes which led to the colleges’ administration’s abolition of our student run radio station, WSRX, will take a look at our “Short History of the End of WSRX.”

With this, our second issue, we also begin a policy of printing significant material (such as letters) which has gone unprinted by decision of the Lanthorn’s editor.

We have striven to arrange and select our material so that interrelationships will present the reader with more than a superficial understanding of an overall pattern of conflict here on the campus of the Grand Valley State Colleges. A callous, cynical, and at the very least unethical handling of student citizenship rights on the part of the Lubbers administration has created something–a legacy–of which our publication Wake Up! Is a product.

Anger–a swift undercurrent of hot dissent–organized opposition to fascism in higher education is surfacing here; mudpots, steaming sulfur springs; A volcano beings to hiss its way up in the cornfield.

Censorship, the Student Senate, the Administration, and the Lanthorn

Reprinted from Wake Up! (February 1983)

The Constitution of the United States specifically states that in this land their shall be made “no law respecting an established religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances.”

The Grand Valley administration’s banning of the X-rated film Inserts must be seen as a violation of the first amendment rights of the student community of the Grand Valley State Colleges.

The Student Senate, clearly, has recognized this and that is the reason that they have sought to enlist the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in this matter. The Student Senate opposition to this censorship is very much a commendable course of action; and it should be hoped that they do not opt out of this confrontation for the sake of political expediency or the acquisition of some political capital from the administration (of signfificantly lesser value to the students true interests than the First Amendment).

Censorship at Grand Valley has a lengthy and inglorious history. The Student Run Experimental radio station (WSRX) was censored by the administration primarily through its elimination. The Lanthorn for years has been threatened with a cut off of finances from the administration – coincidentally when that paper has reported the news in ways contrary to the wishes of the administration. Board of Control member DeVos sent out Amway men to campus a couple of years ago to pick up all copies of The Lanthorn that they could find lying around campus were they were placed for distribution. The particular issue of that paper which so concerned DeVos contained an interview with DeVos in which he made some quite incredible, and one feels quite honest and candid, statements regarding his true feelings about the Grand Valley State Colleges and their students; in this issue’s interview DeVos let it be known that he had little respect for the “clowns and misfits,” or was it the “oddballs and outcasts,” who attended the colleges – or something to that effect – and he also stated that he would never send his own children to Grand Valley but that it was perhaps the right place for people who weren’t adequate material for Hope or Aquinas colleges to go to school – or something of that sort. Apparently Dick had second thoughts about the adequacy of his own words for public reading. There is also the case of censorship involving the Women’s information Bureau (WIB) newspaper which was confiscated from out of the WIB offices here on campus by the campus police on orders from our wondrous Grand Valley administration (however, WSRX took a single copy that had somehow escaped the cops, locked themselves in the studios of WSRX so that the police could not get in and proceeded to read – word for word – the entire issue of the banned newspaper over the air to the Grand Valley community).

Perhaps the laying over of white paint all over the art upon the walls of Lake Huron Hall without Thomas Jefferson Colleges permission should be mentioned in this context as well; a Ronald VanSteeland beautification project, going way back.

The list of atrocities against the first amendment rights of the Grand Valley student is something that we could go on and on with here. In a very real sense, the elimination of Thomas Jefferson College, the Performing Arts Center, and William James College, is cutting the student off from much information – much course material and styles of learning and teaching which ultimately will not be “duplicated” in the new conglomerated Grand Valley State-Thing.

In fact, Grand Valley has become a place where the institutional bureaucracy, under the influence of powerful “New Right” elements in the business community, has trampled underfoot the freedom to speak, to print, to broadcast, to teach, to hear, to learn what one will.

In order to transform the alternative academic community of the Grand Valley State Colleges into the more conservative and mediocre Grand Valley State, our institution’s central administration has readily turned to the easy utility of the gag.

After all, you are not going to know what rights you are losing if no one is there to remind you of what rights you have or how they are being fucked with.

In such a situation you are somewhat less likely to be an individual – and one must suspect that this administration has decided that individuality is not the image to be portrayed by the new Grand Valley State which they have been striving to achieve for so long.

1984 LOOMS CLOSE AT HAND ON THE CAMPUS OF GRAND AMWAY STATE. And this is precisely why the actions of the Student Senate, and especially Tim Swope, last year in opposing reorganization – pointing out that it would not necessarily save money but that it would certainly deprive many students of a choice in what they learn and how they learn it – was so surprising and welcome. Equally surprising and welcome has been the Student Senate’s, and especially Tim Swope’s, vocal opposition to the administration’s banning of the X-rated film Inserts from campus.

Unfortunately, The Lanthorn has not been sympathetic or understanding of the Student Senate’s legitimate concerns for the students of Grand Valley. The Lanthorn has in fact given the Student Senate a lot of bad press on this issue – and others. And this lack of harmony between The Lanthorn and the Student Senate on such a grave and basic issue as censorship must seem difficult ot understand or justify.

However, for the president of the Student Senate, Tim Swope, to call upon the Student Senate to take actions that would “confiscate” ultimate authority over The Lanthorn of the Student Senate is ludicrous, if understandable in some degree and in some short-sighted sort of way.

It is a proposal for the violation of the first amendment rights by an elected body which has engaged in contest with an unelected bureaucracy (the Grand valley administration) in order to protect those same first amendment rights.

Reason is lost here. The basis of Student Senate actions is in danger of going way off base.

When our founding fathers wrote the law of the land and decided that there would be “no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” they had in mind a limitation upon the elected governments of this land – you must see that this limitation includes a voiding of Student Senate actions to dictate policy to The Lanthorn as much as it would prevent the state of Michigan through its elected representatives and their bureaucrats dictating policy to the Student Senate in regards to what films are to be permitted to be seen and which banned from sight on our campus.

In the United States we have seperation of press and state equally as much as we have a separation of church and state – this is the ultimate guarantor of our freedoms as human beings and as citizens. When we forget this we lose our freedoms.

Wake Up! Opposes Tim Swope’s Proposal Regarding Lanthorn Governance as much as we support the Student Senate’s opposition to administrative censorship of the film Inserts.

Wake Up! supports the Lanthorn (and will continue to do so) in its efforts to fend off Student Senate control over its policy equally as much as we dislike its coverage of the Student Senate and that paper’s lack of intelligent content in general (with few exceptions).

Perhaps the Student Senate should seek ways to recharge The lanthorn with independence; get The Lanthorn out from under the shadow of the Zumburgerite administration; sever The Lanthorn from the Newspaper Advisory Board oversight which has been imposed upon it; and help The Lanthorn to regain its status as a free student organization again instead of just another icon to censorship, or stupidity.

President’s Proposal Regarding Lanthorn Governance

It is important that we maintain a true student’s medium on this campus. The current N.A.B. structure does not allow for this when it realizes that “student run” does not refer to one student. “Student run” refers to the student body, and as representatives of that body, I offer to you the following draft proposed for your consideration:

I. The Student Senate, being the elected representative body of the students, shall have final say in regards to Lanthorn policy. This shall be achieved by reviewing recommendations from the NAB (both majority and minority reports), reviewing recommendations from the remainder of the GVSC community, and reviewing recommendations from the Lanthorn editor. The Senate shall refrain from any judgment in regards to content of articles, except in cases of proven slander and/or libel.

II. The NAB shall report any and all action taken to the Senate for ratification within one week of the action. This report shall be in the form of committee minutes.

III. The Senate shall be ultimately responsible for the hiring and/or firing of The Lanthorn’s editor. Both actions require a 2/3 vote of the entire Senate and take place after reviewing recommendations from the NAB.