Dear Editor,I am writing to ask for your help. I am a senior at Tufts University outside of Boston and am currently working to complete my final project before graduation. I am in the process of designing a website that will serve as resource guide for college newspapers who face or fear they will in the future face censorship. When completed, the website will offer a variety of resources including, but not limited to, legal precedents, case analyses, other resources, and personal testimonials. The personal testimonials are perhaps the most important part of the website since they will offer site-visitors the chance to see they are not alone, and to understand similar situations around the country.I am coming to you as the editor of a respected student newspaper. Below are a few simple questions. If you have a few minutes to answer them, I would greatly appreciate it. Your answers will be compiled into the “Personal Testimonials” section of the site. If you do not want your answers to be included on the site or want them to be included without your name or school, you input is still incredibly valuable to me. So again, if you have a few minutes to answer the below questions, preferably as soon as possible, it would help me immensely. I can be reached through this e-mail account at email@example.com, or, if you’d prefer, I can contact you by phone.Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide,Sincerely,Brooke Menschel
1. Do you attend a public or private school?
2. Is your newspaper funded by the school or independent from the school?
3. What is the full name of your school’s newspaper? How often is it published?
4. Does your newspaper have a faculty advisor? If so, is he or she involved in each publication?
5. Do you currently or have you in the past held a position on the editorial board of your school’s newspaper? If so, what is the position and when did you hold it?
6. Do you (or other members of the staff) feel your newspaper has been censored?If you answer no, please skip to questions #76a. If you answer yes, please explain the particulars of that situation. 6b. How did the newspaper’s editorial board respond to the incident?6c. Has censorship been a continuous problem for your student newspaper or a singular event? Please explain.6d. Who do you think poses the greatest threat to censoring your newspaper?
7. If your newspaper has not been censored, what do you attribute that to?
8. Does your newspaper participate in self-censorship? Please explain.
9. Do you feel that most schools are subjected to censorship by the school’s administration?
10. If you could offer one piece of advice to student newspapers who feel they are being censored, what would it be?
11. How do you define censorship?
12. How do you define self-censorship?
13. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you again for your participation.