Targum has obligation to publish diverse content
As one of the most diverse universities in the country, Rutgers prides itself on the multitude of opinions and ideas that arise from both ends of the campus. The student body continues to witness a community of thriving ideas, opinions and debate. Unfortunately, such a large and diverse community does not always allow for easy individual access to the plethora of opinions floating throughout the student body, which sometimes results in arrogance and disrespect.
For this reason, a communal space to share such ideas is essential in order to create appropriate dialogue regarding all University issues. The Opinions section of The Daily Targum provides us with exactly this space. As a student-run University newspaper, the Targum’s job is to publish pieces to that effect and to require the attention of the entire student population. Furthermore, the Opinions section is meant to be a free space in which our community’s diverse voices can be heard.
Colleen Jolly’s piece entitled, “Can Hillel’s funding be put to better use elsewhere?” raises questions regarding the allocation of funds within the University. This is a subject that touches all students, faculty and affiliates of Rutgers, and therefore the Targum published Jolly’s commentary. In addition, Andrew Getraer’s response voices the deep offense Hillel took to Jolly’s piece. The Targum upheld the No. 1 journalistic value of freedom of speech. The Targum’s loyalty to its overall purpose of relaying information and opinions regarding University matters deserves applause.
Journalists for Human Rights is a student-run organization here on campus that works to promote education on human rights and journalistic rights. We strive to shed light on humanitarian issues worldwide that do not make an appearance in mainstream media. Furthermore, the foundation of our work demands for the necessity of fair and free media. With this in mind, we condemn the media intimidation that has taken place over the course of the last week and fully support the freedom of expression needed at such a diverse institution. The demand for the resignation of the Targum members involved in the publication of Jolly’s letter is perhaps not only illogical but defeats the purpose of true journalism. The Targum has a history of provoking controversy, opening dialogue and most importantly forcing our students to think critically beyond all boundaries of race, politics and religion. The moral and code of journalistic ethics is constantly changing, and the Targum has been doing an excellent job of meeting the demands and needs of the University and its students and staff. Therefore, one incident should not and cannot dictate these morals, whether it is Hillel demanding sensitivity training or otherwise. As an organization, we continue to support and stipulate the transparency between the Targum and the University to better provide for the student body and uphold the journalistic integrity of modern-day journalism. We salute our fellow journalists and hope the Targum continues to stand by its values of journalistic integrity.
Rowaida Abdelaziz is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies and Middle Eastern studies. She is the president of Journalists for Human Rights.
Tasnia Ahamad is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in economics and religion. She is the vice president of Journalists for Human Rights.
Syjil Ashraf is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies and human resource management with a minor in political science. She is the editor and historian of Journalists for Human Rights.