The Princeton campus newspaper has a unique editorial structure. While most newspapers — not just student-run ones — have an editorial board that is made up of senior editors, Princeton’s Princetonian has an editorial board that is completely separate from the senior student staff. Instead, it has what has been reported as a fairly broad cross-section of students on the Ivy League campus.
But then the board put forth several right-leaning opinion pieces in a row, which was intolerable for the tolerant leftists in charge at the Princetonian.
Earlier this month, however, that independent board was dissolved by the Princetonian’s top editors, who reverted to the more common model of having senior editors pen unsigned editorials.
The decision upset members of the disbanded board, who have gone rogue, launching their own website to continue to publish opinions and combat what they call the Princetonian’s“anti-pluralism.”
In their debut editorial Sept. 14, they also called current leaders of the Princetonian out for bias, noting the “catalyst for the change in the Editorial Board’s structure was a series of editorials that did not align with the personal political convictions of the Editor-in-Chief and other senior editors.”
Sakha, in an email to The College Fix, defended the decision to disband the group, noting it was made by the Managing Board, which she heads, after consulting with other members of the Princetonian and its Board of Trustees.
“We decided to revise the structure of our Editorial Board, in a return to a more traditional model of an editorial board, for a college newspaper,” Sakha said. “We welcome a diversity of opinion, which is why we have invited all current members of the board to apply to the new board. Alternatively, they can become bylined columnists, without having to apply. We expect their voices will not be lost, but rather amplified, on our Opinion pages by having a byline.”
I’m sorry, but that’s equine excrement.
Had Sakha actually given a flying flip about diversity of opinion, there would have been no need to dissolve the original board. Instead, she and her cohorts simply want to silence non-leftist opinions at the Ivy League school. After all, they were apparently providing a counterpoint to the more progressive leanings of the paper’s editor-in-chief, which is exactly what diversity of opinion is supposed to do.
By dissolving the board in an effort to put together a new one, anyone with half a brain should be able to discern the issue is that Sakha and company simply want to dilute conservative opinion in order to give it less of a voice.
Such is life on American college campuses.
Luckily, that editorial board recognized that it’s the 21st century. They didn’t need Sakha’s permission to publish their opinions, so they went independent. Good for them. Princeton will be better for it.