Student politicians shouldn’t be policing student journalists

LettersToTheEditorGraphic by Evan Tremblay.

The Canadian University Press is dismayed to hear of the recent motion put forward by UMSU regarding The Manitoban. The Manitoban has a long tradition as an eminent Canadian student publication and we find the threats to the financial security of the publication by certain members of UMSU over the contents of the editorial pages deeply concerning.

We ask that UMSU withdraw any actions that threaten the financial security of the Manitoban and obstruct the Manitoban’s ability to freely and independently provide quality reporting to the students and campus community of the University of Manitoba.

It is not the role of student politicians to police student journalists, and whether [a] councillor or any other members of UMSU agree with the Manitoban’s reporting is irrelevant.

There is often a natural tension between student politicians and student journalists. Student publications are often the only organizations reporting on student unions and the only source of accountability for students whom often pay large fees each year to their student unions.

We expect there will inevitably be future stories published in the Manitoban that members of UMSU will dislike, just as UMSU will inevitably make some decisions that members of the Manitoban will dislike. However, we believe strong, independent student journalism has an important role in ensuring the long-term accountability and vitality of UMSU. We trust that UMSU has the best interest of University of Manitoba students at heart and hope it will discontinue any activities that threaten the financial security of the Manitoban.