The other day, I posted about the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, based out of Tupelo, because Publisher Clay Foster had written an essay all about why his paper would not be printing same-sex marriage announcements.
… last week five of our Supreme Court justices decided that neither the Bible nor their predecessors’ ruling matters any longer because times have changed.
Our response and reaction to this decision by the Supreme Court doesn’t need to be one of hate, but rather one of love, including those who experience same-sex attraction, without comprising our beliefs and while maintaining strong convictions on the Bible’s teachings.
Robbie Ward, a former reporter there, now points out that an email also went out to staffers at the paper reminding them to keep their mouths shut on the issue:
Charlotte Wolfe, the company’s associate publisher for community newspapers, sent an internal email to the leadership at the weekly publications two days before Foster’s column published.
“A decision has been made that the Journal’s editorial board will not take a position on the recent Supreme Court decision… Because the company is not taking an editorial position on this, we need to follow suit, and not take positions editorially or in personal columns… We have a right to our opinions, but because we are so tightly connected to our newspaper products, we don’t need to vocalize this on social media … whether we realize it or not, people see that as the paper’s opinion.”
Newspapers: The bastion of free speech. Unless you think the paper is doing something wrong, in which case you better not tell anyone or your job will be in jeopardy. (Just FYI, some larger newspapers employ public editors whose very job it is to write about when/how the newspaper has screwed up.)
Someone should tell Wolfe that citing the Bible in defense of why gay marriage announcements won’t be published in the paper is taking an editorial position on the issue.
What use is a newspaper if good-natured dissenting speech is stifled?
Meanwhile, Ward makes clear that other Mississippi newspapers will publish same-sex announcements because… well, why not? I realize which state I’m talking about, but you’d hope that’s one more nail in the coffin for this paper, which is doing a disservice to its readers by keeping out information that might offend religious sensibilities.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to J for the link)