The Morning Call by Gregory Kantor
May 17, 2018
I will be donning my cap and gown Friday and will proceed across the stage as I graduate from Muhlenberg College. But as I think about this day, I also can’t help but look back on the last four years.
I’ve done a lot with my time at Muhlenberg, but it’s the time spent with The Muhlenberg Weekly, the student newspaper, that I’ll always remember most. Writing stories, choosing headlines and searching for Oxford commas have been just as important to me as finding my academic passion and networking.
It consumed much of my free time and certainly all of my Tuesdays, but there’s nowhere else I rather would have been late on Tuesday nights — or the early morning hours of a Wednesday — than in our office, putting the newspaper to bed.
Why? Well, broadly speaking, it’s because an independent press, and one supported strongly by the First Amendment, is essential for our democracy’s success. Cliché, I know, but that premise is under attack and we cannot take these freedoms for granted — and college students across the nation agree.
A recent Gallup study concluded that confidence in the freedom of the press among college students dropped from 81 percent in 2016 to just 60 percent last year. For freedom of speech, confidence fell from 73 percent to 64 percent. However, the battleground for the fight to protect the First Amendment is hardly limited to professional news media organizations.