GANNETT’S IONA PROBLEM

Catalyst June Issue 1999

Gannett Newspapers just can’t get over Iona College’s determination to stand firm for its Catholic principles.

Last October, Gannett editorialized against Iona for “censoring” an obscenity-laden student poem from appearing in the school’s magazine. Now, six months later, the Gannett-owned Journal News (White Plains, NY) has raised the issue again, with reporter Caren Halbfinger accusing Iona of “censoring the free verse of student poets.”

In a letter-to-the-editor, we noted the irony: while Ms. Halbfinger described the offending passages as “sexually explicit” and “an expletive,” she did not quote them in her article—”no doubt,” we said, “because printing such language violates the policy of Gannett newspapers, as it would most mainstream newspapers.

“If newspapers have the right to maintain certain ethical standards in deciding what is printed in their names,” we asked, “why shouldn’t Catholic colleges have the same right?”


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Written by Bill