Freedom of the press lives on

For the past few weeks, The Famuan staff has been fielding questions from angry readers about columns that have been published in various sections of the paper.

Let me start by saying columns, or the opinions of particular writers, run in all sections of the paper except for news.

When you see a writer’s picture next to a story, that indicates that what you are about to read is their opinion and not meant to be considered news. Also, a grade at the bottom of a story indicates the article is a review, and everything in the article is the opinion of the writer as well.

As student journalists, the first thing we learn in our classes is the true meaning of the First Amendment.

Journalism is, in fact, the only profession protected by the Constitution, and as budding journalists, we are taking full advantage of our Constitutional right. Whether you exercise it or not, you have that right as well.

It must also be noted that anything that occurs in a public place is up for discussion. That means if you do something where any random person walking by can see it, then it can be reported on.

As a staff, we know that commenting on certain things may be controversial, but we will not be bullied into watering down our true opinions because someone or members of said organizations may get upset.

There is such a thing as freedom of the press and because of it, readers are more informed than they would be if the media did not exist.

Imagine life with no CNN, The New York Times, or MTV News for that matter. How would you learn about things outside of you and your circle of friends?

We have a duty to uphold a journalistic code of ethics, and report events and occurrences with balanced and unbiased objectivity. When it comes to voicing our opinions, we understand there is a place for them and we take great measures to keep the two separate.

I will take this opportunity to invite anyone who has a problem with anything that they read in The Famuan, or any publication, to write a letter to the editor. If there is something you feel is unfair or inappropriate for publication, let us know.

We are truly interested in hearing what you think. And no, we won’t “lose” letters that speak negatively of The Famuan. But we will edit your letter for space, clarity and inappropriate content.

With that in mind feel free to exercise your first amendment rights.

Contact Alexia R. Robinson is a senior magazine production student from Jacksonville. She is the acting Deputy Opinions Editor this week. Contact her at