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Thursday, November 4,2010

Letters | The future of journalism

The future of journalism

(Re: “Bleeding ink,” cover story, Oct. 28.) Mr. Accomazzo’s article on the uncertain future of CU’s J-School brings up the fundamental question about the role of journalism in society. I think it has been and always will be about telling the people the truth and letting the chips fall where they may. Today, however, the commoditization of everything ranging from politics to education has made it so that the pursuit of fact often falls prey to the pursuit of profits (or at least maintaining an operational budget).

It’s a reality we’ve more or less become used to over the past 60 or so years, but we are not immune to the corrosive effect this has upon civil discourse. Journalism has become a joke in the eyes of many who would assume our attention spans are too short and our ignorance too smug. People, however, still want to know what’s happening around them, and the changing nature of our media landscape certainly warrants revisiting existing college curriculum.

The loss of the student paper at CU, however, reeks of the over-politicization of what is supposed to function as a laboratory for ideas; controversy is stoked at every turn no matter what we do and the proper response in this case would have been to apologize for offending and then moving on.

I hope that dismantling the J-School doesn’t become another move that instills caution amongst those who dare to speak against conventional wisdom. Journalism is vital not only to protecting our freedom of expression, but also our freedom from authoritative thinking. This “discontinuance” ought to be used as an opportunity to expand the virtues of objectivity, critical analysis, and clear communication to all students, especially since citizen-journalism looks to become a more integral part of our future. But I’ll leave those details for the faculty to sort out.

Mikyle Jivan Lockwood, CU graduate/via Internet

You should be ashamed

(Re: “Tyler Clementi died for your sins,” Uncensored, Oct. 7.) I came across your article as I was looking for information to write a paper about Mr. Clementi and the awful things people did to him. I was shocked by your title for the story! I understand this is an editorial piece, but your blasphemy was highly unnecessary and offensive! This boy was a victim of cruelty to be sure, but you have just alienated readers who believe in Jesus as Christ with that shameful title. Many of us in the Evangelical community care deeply for children who are being bullied and abused whether they are gay or straight, so to compare him with Jesus is insulting. You say people should be ashamed for participating in Tyler’s mockery, but you, ma’am, should be ashamed of yourself to make such a remark. I will certainly be avoiding your further articles and all publications from Boulder Weekly.

Jamie Foster/via Internet

Sliding toward fascism

Students of political history know that fascism is the joining together of government and industry. Benito Mussolini started the fascist party in 1919 in Italy, and it ended when he was shot then hanged in 1945. Glen Beck recently called President Obama a fascist but, to be fair, he balanced it out by also calling him a communist.

In January 2010, the United States Supreme Court, by a 5 to 4 vote, ruled that corporations using their right of free speech could spend an unlimited amount of money to support or denigrate political candidates, and in their eagerness to rule, the right leaning judges left a loophole that also allowed anonymity. Not surprisingly, in this election cycle roughly 10 times the amount of corporate money is spent to favor conservatives/corporatists as is spent on liberals, who would be more likely to pass laws regulating unfair, unlawful or dangerous business practices. I would never call a conservative a fascist, but I question whether they can stop short of where they are heading. Somebody reassure me!

Tom Lopez/Longmont

Diversity brings divisiveness

The United States is an English speaking country, not a bilingual or multi-lingual speaking country. Our government conducts all business in English. Our military communicates only in English. Can you envision military commanders giving commands to attack in numerous languages? U.S. businesses typically communicate in English. One of the many strengths of this country is its outstanding communications system.

All roadside signs, instructions, business correspondence, school classes, and general communications should be in English, with no references to any foreign languages. Immigrants have to learn English, and our children have to be proficient in English.

It can be beneficial for people to be fluent in a second language such as Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, etc. Our country needs expertise in foreign languages, but this should be subservient to fluency in English. U.S. citizens who cannot speak and write English as a primary language are probably placing themselves at a disadvantage on the ladder to success in this country.

We should not promote language diversity, because it will lead to divisiveness, the same type of divisiveness we see in numerous foreign countries.

Donald A. Moskowitz/Londonderry, NH

Our No. 1 health problem

The recent withdrawal of the diet drug Meridia marks the latest setback in a long and frustrating quest for a pharmaceutical solution to our national obesity epidemic. Despite millions of dollars spent by drug companies, none of the handful of diet drugs on the market is considered very effective. This is most unfortunate, for obesity has become the number one public health problem for our community and our nation, affecting one-third of our population. It’s a precursor to heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic illnesses that account for more than a million premature deaths each year. Leading causes of obesity are consumption of fat-laden meat and dairy products and inadequate exercise. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when lifestyle habits become life- long addictions. The failure of the drug industry to come up with a dietary silver bullet places added emphasis on the diet/exercise solution. The time has come to replace meat and dairy products in our diet with wholesome grains, vegetables and fruits and to undertake a regular exercise pro- gram. Parents should insist that their schools introduce wholesome school lunch choices and should set a good example at their own dinner table.

Stanley Silver/via Internet

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