Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s visit to CSUN has students asking a lot of different questions. One of these questions directly challenges the political objectivity of the Daily Sundial itself.
The very first thing I heard while quietly observing two students picking up the February 27, 2008 edition of the Sundial was, “Schwarzenegger’s visit-what do the liberal, left-wing media-Nazis have today?”
Now, that isn’t entirely fair. First off, “Nazi” is somewhat harsh. Secondly, I am a registered republican-just thought I’d lay all the cards on the table.
I had to run to class, so I couldn’t spend time listening to any additional discourse, but these students reading the Sundial did have a semi-valid complaint about the coverage of the protest held in front of the Plaza del Sol.
“Look at this picture on the front page. They made it look like there were so many more students protesting than there actually were.”
I took a long look at the picture they mentioned. With the way the picture was framed, and the students tightly packed together like they were, I suppose it could be argued that the number of protestors might have been slightly misrepresented-exaggerated even.
However, just next to that “misleading” picture in an article aptly titled “Students protest at governor’s visit,” not but seven lines down (less than four sentences) we can read the words “dozens of demonstrators.”
“Dozens” in my mind is a fair estimation of how many people were present in front of the Plaza del Sol. I admit pictures can be more eye-catching than word, but is it really too much to ask to read the corresponding article before you associate a newspaper publication with the Nazi party?
The story of Schwarzenegger’s appointment of the new California cabinet position-called the secretary of service and volunteering-still received top billing on the front page. The story was seemingly covered fairly and accurately. There shouldn’t be a complaint there.
Does the problem come from the fact that the protest was covered at all? No, that can’t be it. Ignoring the protest as if it never happened would be downright un-American. The only possible argument that could be made-as far as coverage of the protest is concerned-is that perhaps it shouldn’t have received as much attention as it did.
A cursory glance and about 10 minutes of reading will show you that the protest in question was given about as much attention as Schwarzenegger’s visit itself. I will agree that in the L.A. Times, it is unlikely that a student protest would be given the same amount of space as the signing of a “historic executive order.” But we also have to consider that if the Daily Sundial doesn’t give special attention to CSUN related stories, nobody will.
The CSUN-student created coalition titled “Students Together Against Raising Tuition” (START)-the organization that set up the protest-should be the sort of group both CSUN democrats and republicans can both get behind. It wasn’t as if the protest was meant to be a personal attack against Schwarzenegger or the Republican Party as a whole.
Every student could stand to have a lower tuition regardless of their financial situation. The whopping 10 percent tuition increase proposed for CSUs and UCs isn’t something any student-from the left or right sides of the political spectrum-will line up for. In a sense, the desire to save money is the ultimate unifier of college students everywhere.
The only thing the Sundial should have covered that it didn’t-and the only thing that START should truly be held accountable for-is how loud the protest was when some people were trying to concentrate in class: though a little noise pollution now and then is acceptable for the greater good.