College editor defends running uncensored streaker photos

WNCT.com | The East Carolinian
On Tuesday, the student newspaper at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. ran photos of the streaker who ran across the field in the middle of a halftime military appreciation ceremony at last Saturday’s ECU-University of Southern Mississippi game. (“It was something that I wanted to do before I died,” the 21-year-old man told the student paper.) Editor Caitlin Hale says she and colleagues ran the photos “because we felt that our audience, which is primarily the ECU student body, should have access to unedited and factual photos of the streaking incident.” She added that they “were not meant to be seen as sexually suggestive or insulting.” The school administration quickly condemned the journalists’ editorial judgment: “We will be having conversations with those who were involved in this decision in an effort to make it a learning experience. The goal will be to further the students’ understanding that with the freedom of the press comes a certain level of responsibility about what is appropriate and effective in order to get their message across.”

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  • Anonymous

    I’m sure the other argument to eventually drop into this mini-contro is that, “you’re just encouraging these kind of acts by doing this,” which is why we don’t see anything when people perform any number of stupid acts at a sporting event. (Well, um, exempting the actions of the players.) I don’t think that performing this bit of self-censorship has stopped streakers, runners, etc., one bit. If it happens, report it and don’t bury it — which would be good advice for a number of other people in sports.

  • J B

    Wonderful head. (The pun is intended.) It’s heartening to know that there are still small crevices of life where teenagers and young adults can still express their energy and irreverence without jail time and felony “sentences.” All we need to ask is: Why have we allowed journalism to become a branch of corporate appropriateness and censorship?

  • J B

    I broke many, many rules during my tenure as the fall 1986 editor of the University of Oklahoma Daily. I grew up under the influence of the 1960s and 70s anti-establishment generations that exposed hypocritical America and made our nation the great country it is today. My goal was to generate the best news journalism possible and flush away senseless conventions — even if that meant being weird. The East Carolinian published the naked truth. God bless ‘em.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a college paper, for chrissake. I ran something very similar in mine in 1980…

  • Anonymous

    When Rome displayed statues of nude men, the empire fell. Just a cautionary note, folks….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_K3VZTIGNL46YJUPF5MGXNIM7QY Jennifer K

    Yes, but how does the editor defend the groan-inducing headline “Extra balls found on football field”?
    http://theeastcarolinian.com/?p=2013