I came across this article online yesterday; having studied democratisation and freedom of speech at university, I know all too well the repercussions of censorship by totalitarian states. I would not put this in the same league as the issues in China or Russia.
During my time at university, my lecturers frequently bemoaned students seen reading The Sun. They would publicly rant about how it was aimed at readers with a reading age of seven and proclaimed that students should be ashamed of themselves for reading such a publication within a university environment. I don’t agree and have a few points to make.
It is well understood that The Sun (or equivalent publication) is not a high-brow newspaper. Students know that to read it for factual, quotable information would be just plain silly and unacceptable. Reading The Sun does not dumb down students’ intelligence, it just offers a bit of light relief in-between statistics and research papers. Heaven knows what students read online. Will censorship of websites be next?
I feel that by banning the sale of the newspaper, the unions are giving the impression they don’t believe their student body is responsible enough to make their own decisions or intelligent enough to acknowledge the limitations of The Sun. I hope these student unions see sense soon and realise censorship is unacceptable in any form.