After the Administration's terrible PR kerfuffle on the SIUC Facebook page, the DE now confirms what many of us suspected: The Administration wasn't just interested in suppressing the freedom of speech, but also the freedom of the press. I am very proud of the ways the DE has resisted this pressure; the DE is not, primarily, a recruitment tool -- except in the ways having an award-winning college newspaper, recognized for its investigative journalism, might attract quality students here. Read the "Our Word" editorial here:
Meanwhile, our local media has been similarly silent, misinformed, our outright wrong about this strike. Gary Metro at The Southern is of the opinion that, of all the passing cars at the pickets, "a larger group of motorists responded with silent stares or insulting hand gestures." This is not the experience of anyone actually on the picket line. I also personally had to inform a SI reporter that not all folks honoring the strike were on the picket line -- it was news to him on day two that picketers were a subset of overall strikers.
If you get outside of the very local community, the media becomes a little more informed and a little more even-handed. For example, check out the way the Chicago Tribune covered the first day of the strike:
But hey, it is good to know that in the wake of SIUC Facebook page censoring the Administration is figuring out a social media policy. Let us hope it shows a balanced recognition of the need to be open and transparent rather than to use "image control" to justify censorship, false promises, and lies.
I'm back on the line again today. I won't be checking back in here until this evening. Other bloggers may post across the day. For everyone's sake, let us hope this is the last day of this strike.