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4 of top 10 most controversial college papers due to comics

Interesting write-up of the 10 most controversial college newspapers in the U.S. The college newspaper is the perfect storm for controversial content. The content standards are much more relaxed because nobody is afraid of offending the older readers (most papers don’t have a subscription so no fear of someone “dropping the paper”). Advisors are less likely to be the hands on micro-managers like students experienced in high school. And let’s face it, the staff are often less mature and experienced in running a newspaper. Which makes the college paper such a valuable experience.

So I wasn’t surprised as I read through the list of most controversial papers. What I found interesting was the 40% were due to a cartoon that ran in the paper.

Community Comments

#1 Gerry Mooney
January/12/2012
@ 1:33 pm

I tried reading this article but found the writer’s use of “shared” instead of “said” (as in “They shared that the cartoon was intended…”) to be completely aggravating, to the point that I started skimming just to see if this usage was in every freakin’ paragraph.

It was.

#2 Nathan Rackley
January/12/2012
@ 2:44 pm

I don’t know what it is about college papers, but many of them seem to want to have controversial comics in them.

When I interviewed with the editor in chief of the New Mexico Daily Lobo (the paper published by the University of New Mexico), she asked me if I would do political strips for them. My pitch as a humor cartoonist with my strip “Lakewood” was strong enough to avoid being forced into this position.

To my surprise, there was enough of a positive response from readers about the fact that Lakewood was appropriate for all ages that it has not only remained, but is now printed in every issue of the newspaper.

#3 Mike Peterson
January/12/2012
@ 6:30 pm

Gerry, we can see it. The word appears twice.

#4 Mark Hill
January/13/2012
@ 9:50 am

Interesting stuff. It seems cartoons are often a quick path to controversy for newspapers, whether in college or in the ‘real world’.

The Daily Illini, (#10 on the list), was my training ground in college. We had a few storms over questionable content during my time as graphics editor & cartoonist…(once for a cartoon.) As the article noted, the student paper there is mostly independent of the University, financed through subscriptions and ads…however, the University made it clear that they had the power to pull the plug. In fact, once a month a chancellor would have lunch with the editors, “to go over news”…or as I saw it, to remind us of that fact.

Alan is right; the opportunity for controversy is high at college papers, while the learning experience is usually top-notch.

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