Editorial: Freedom of press stifled in Pub

The Rider News is dedicated to bringing the most current news to the students of this campus. When we first heard of the possible age changes for Thursday nights at the Pub in the SGA Senate last week, the editorial staff made a decision to cover this story, knowing that it would be of great interest to the hundreds of students who wait in line every Thursday.

Although we wrote a short article on this topic last week, we wanted to run a longer story, with a photo, on the front page for this issue. To get the photo for the front page, our photography editor went to the Pub last Thursday. He asked the Public Safety officers outside the Pub if he would be allowed to take some photos for the paper, and after they asked him if he was planning on drinking (and he replied no), he went into the Pub and took a few pictures.

After about two minutes, he was approached by Nick Barbati, coordinator of campus activities, and Dave Keenan, director of campus activities, who asked him several questions, such as who allowed him to take the pictures. Since any average person can enter the Pub and take any number of pictures of their friends, this question seemed self-explanatory. Our photographer explained that he was taking pictures for The Rider News to complement the story about the age changes. In response to this, they replied that there was no age change, so there was no story, and therefore, no reason to take pictures.

But you saw the front cover of the issue today, and you can see that there is indeed a change at the Pub. Since Barbati was even quoted in the story, it seems unlikely that he had no idea about the changes last Thursday. Even if he hadn’t known, the way that our photographer was treated was unprofessional. The Consitution allows our photographer to take pictures in the Pub, which is a public place. Obviously, freedom of the press is something that these two individuals do not understand or care about.

Our photographer had already spoken to the Public Safety Officers outside of the Pub, and when they agreed to let him in, he didn’t think he would have any trouble getting the 10 to 15 shots he needed. He wasn’t drinking or causing a ruckus, or trying to get shots of people who were underage. The best shot to complement the story would have been one of a long line, and since there was no line that night, shots from last Thursday probably wouldn’t have even been used.

The only thing our photographer was attempting to do was to help bring breaking news to the students on a subject that apparently affects hundreds of students and their Thursday night plans.

Written By Opinion Editor, Nadine Tester

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