(OPINION) READ: The State News has Failed Conservative Students
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Author: Jack Carlson
Not enough attention has been paid to The State News. It appears to lack conservative opinions, despite being branded as the student newspaper of MSU.
As a student newspaper, it holds the key responsibilities to reflect a broad array of students, and to consider and entertain policies and opinions across the spectrum. The newspaper does not reflect or report on the whole array of news and opinions at MSU, yet receives $7.50 per student, bringing over $285,000 from the tax.
Upon opening the website, or the newspaper, the reader is confronted with a glaring absence of conservative opinion. Still, The State News proudly labels itself as “Michigan State University’s Independent Voice.” That is not to suggest The State News directly takes a political stance or directly supports a political party. Rather, to point out the seemingly one sided content.
This is blatantly seen in their opinion section. Searching through the opinion section reveals headlines such as “Abortion rights need to be protected", "MSU needs a standalone multicultural center,” and even "MSU needs to care more about students' menstrual cycles”. These articles are undeniably left leaning. Yet there is no argument that says this does not reflect the whole student body.
My point is not to say The State News cannot or should not be publishing these articles in their opinion section. The problem is these are the overwhelming published opinions. Looking back, I’ve been unable to find any article in the opinion section that is close to conservative.
It is an unsettling revelation that a newspaper, funded by students and put into place to reflect the views of a spectrum of students, is seemingly mute of conservative opinions. Their independent claim is dishonest and not representative.
Their news section does not reflect an “independent voice” either.
Their article, "Michigan lawmakers respond to MSU fines, Title IX violations,” has accuracy, but is one sided. The story voices the opinions of Michigan Democratic lawmakers which is only representative of some students on campus. Within the archives, news stories on Democrat politicians and groups are more common.
For example, a recent article, "How the state budget affects the East Lansing community," reflects the staggering absence of conservative views. Only one conservative lawmaker is quoted in the article, about a budget proposed by a Democratic governor. There is not a more relevant opportunity to voice the concerns of Republican lawmakers, and The State News missed it.
The solution to the lack of broad representation is to call on The State News to utilize their student funded resources to improve their reporting. This can be achieved by opening the doors to more voices, and more expansive reporting.
Students at MSU of every political leaning ought to be unsatisfied at their unbalanced newspaper, their “independent voice.” The Editor-in-Chief of The State News has said, “our goal at The State News is to reflect your time at MSU. Our role is to chronicle life on and off campus every single day in order to help you better navigate and understand your world.”
If The State News is to live up to that claim, to help us understand our world, to chronicle life on and off campus, they only do a disservice to themselves by continuing their indifference in reflecting conservative views.
Contributor: Jack Carlson