Letter from the Editor

We have heard multiple direct references around campus that connect The Pioneer to a newly formed independent publication, The Secession. These comments, made by a variety of individuals, have compelled us to clarify.

As figureheads of the newspaper, it is not our place to offer our personal opinion of the publication. Whether we like or dislike it is irrelevant. What we would like to address is the implication that the Pioneer censors its content, or that it resents the Secession.
It’s important to note that a newspaper is not a free forum for any type of expression. It is not an art or literary magazine. Those types of creative venues certainly have their place in society and at our school, and they serve very significant purposes: however, those are not the purposes of a newspaper.

As a newspaper, the goal toward which we strive is to present pertinent, objective information to our readers. For those reasons, we do our best to achieve accuracy and professionalism. That is why we embrace and abide by a journalistic standard. If we have a policy against printing the f-word, it does not stem from a desire to repress the opinions of our writers, but out of a hope that our readers: which include faculty, staff, community members and parents in addition to students: will not feel alienated by opening our pages. If we opt against printing a first-person exploration of a current event, it is because we do not feel that the public will be served through the intake of a piece that ought to be objective but fails to be.

We do not consider these particular standards “censorship.” It is our prerogative to uphold what is stylistically and thematically appropriate. We would never presume to tell a columnist that they may not write on a particular subject. We would never refuse to print a legitimate Letter to the Editor based off its content. We edit for quality of writing: we do not censor.

To make it even more abundantly clear: we do not oppose the Secession, or any other campus publication. Its actions, and the actions of other publications, do not affect us on an editorial level. We believe that a variety of different publications are beneficial to the student body, and recognize that a newspaper is not the best type of creative outlet for everyone. For students who are not interested in or not satisfied by the type of content that we provide, we hold absolutely no grudge against reading or contributing to other literary groups on campus.

Jamie Soukup and Kim Sommers have weekly office hours on Mondays from 4-5 p.m. in The Pioneer office.