Letter from the Editor previous regarding cover


Most every college newspaper editor in the country sits down at a news budget meeting and reviews the content planned for the next issue. It is up to those editors to approve or disapprove — to challenge his staff and writers to push the limit.
When the topic of last week’s cover arose, I thought it was it was a great idea. Many students, including myself, until recently, did not know HPV could lead to throat cancer and, in fact, is a leading cause of throat cancer. That being said, it was a no-brainer that the story itself was cover-worthy. So how could we best illustrate it?
I met with the art team and management staff, and after reviewing several different ideas, I felt this was the most appropriate cover to complement the story. Yes, of course there was a bit of shock value to the cover, and I also knew this would make more readers than usual likely to pick up and read the paper.
When deciding on a cover, there are a number of things I look into — from  advertising repercussions to media law. I make sure the Spinnaker is on solid ground before printing every issue — in this case we were.
The cover did cause some controversy, as many of you will have seen in the local and national media, but this was all a positive thing. It revealed the University of North Florida’s president and his administration were not ready for a cover like this, and it showed a clear learning curve for them. Students throughout campus, though, were ready.
This cover was not only OK, it was properly executed. It is this forward thinking that needs to happen more often at the Spinnaker and other college newspapers. You can’t be afraid of the backlash for taking a chance on something that may be controversial, particularly when the subject is so pertinent to our readership.
It was disheartening to recieve such a negative response from the university administration who has thus far been very supportive of an independent student newspaper.
President Delaney told the Florida Times-Union the Spinnaker “crossed a decency line.”
Mr. President, I did not cross a decency line. I used the best and most well-intended judgement throughout this process.
This is not pornography — this is not indecent.
Another administrator vice president Tom Serwatka said better judgement should have been used. This type of response from administration is not in the best interest of a healthy working relationship or the campus community at large.
Delaney has asked for an appropriate response to this week’s cover from the Spinnaker. The most appropriate step is to let the process work and let the Spinnaker keep printing its paper every week.
I am in no way offering an apology in this letter. I hope the Spinnaker continues in the path I helped lay out for it this year. It is important to have covers like this and it is just as important for the university community to understand it is OK.