The front-page editorial is journalism’s equivalent of an upside-down flag. It’s a symbol of distress.
Like an upside-down flag, it signals that we have momentarily ignored our usual principles — respect for national symbols in the flag’s case or respect for the usual primacy of straight news on the front page in this case — because we believe that our community as we know it is at risk if we do not speak out.
I also want to explain, as I have before, the authorship of today’s front-page piece and who I speak for when I say “we.” Today’s editorial is the opinion of The Daily Tar Heel’s independent editorial board. The newsroom — the city, state, university, sports and arts reporters who normally write everything you see on the front page — had no review of or input in the piece. The only overlap between the newsroom and the editorial board is my role, and it’s one I don’t take lightly.
So, we, the members of the editorial board, are distressed and concerned for UNC’s future. Without freedom for its researchers and professors to pursue what is good, true and beautiful, our University will become a shell of itself.
Top rankings for UNC’s various programs mean little if administrators can’t be transparent about sexual assault, which affects the personal well-being of every student on campus and their ability to do well in class.