Student journalists ready for mainstream media

Liberals and conservatives differ on freedom of the press and speech. Conservatives call a newspaper story that presents both sides of an issue "fair and balanced." Liberals call the same newspaper story "biased."

Some of the writers at the Wayzata High School newspaper, the Trojan Tribune, are already practicing "activist journalism," whereby advancing an agenda takes precedence over informing their readers. In other words, they're ready for the mainstream media.

For example, the op-ed article, "Sex Ed is not educational," stated:
Comprehensive sex education is the only way to see a change in teen behavior. These programs are able to teach teens not only about abstinence, but focus on the fact that teens are already having sex. They state the risk of sexual intercourse like pregnancy and STI's, but also provide information on contraceptives and STI's. Clearly there is no other program that teens could benefit more from. The other option, an abstinence-only program, has been proven to distribute false information. Now why would the government want to fund a sex education program that teaches false information?

The writer alleges that abstinence-only programs have been "proven to distribute false information" — without stating any evidence. This amounts to the liberal's favorite tactic of ad hominem attack on the individual, while avoiding directly addressing the pros and cons of their position. It's a lazy approach. Yes, this is an opinion piece, but substantive evidence of the claim would strengthen the case.

Another article from the Trojan Tribune, "Biased Social Studies textbooks?" is more subtle, but is a prime example of how liberals' preference for censorship over free speech belies their fear of true debate. The article reported without challenge on a slanted Associated Press report of "conservative bias" in social studies textbooks:
New Jersey high-school senior, Matthew LaClair, recently accused his Social Studies textbook of having biased viewpoints.

LaClair said that his AP Government textbook, "American Government," by James Wilson and John Dilulio, showed conservative views on the political topics discussed in the popular textbook. "I just realized from my own knowledge that some of this stuff in the book is just plain wrong,” said LaClair in an interview with Nancy Zuckerbrod of the Associated Press. The topics included global warming, separation of church and state, and praying at school. An excerpt from the textbook said, "Science doesn’t know whether we are experiencing a dangerous level of global warming or how bad the greenhouse effect is, if it exists at all." The latest edition of the textbook, published last year, now says, "Science doesn’t know how bad the greenhouse effect is."

With this "debate is over" approach to newsgathering, the mainstream media will be doing all of the "critical thinking" for our children — if we let them.