Friday, July 19

Letters


Letters

LettersInform, don’t misinform

Editor:

In response to the "Question of the week," with regard to
printing

controversial advertisements, I agree wholeheartedly that
controversial ads

should be accepted – as long as they’re advertising
something.

The purpose of advertisements is to inform readers of events,
services

and products available, not to espouse political, religious or
any other

views. That’s what the opinion section of a newspaper is for.
This is not

an issue of free speech.

These groups that try to "advertise" their ideas are not
prohibited from

writing letters to the editor or guest editorials and columns.
Prohibiting

this would be a violation of free speech, but limiting
advertisements to

legitimate ones is not.

Further, you ask about misleading and false claims. Newspapers
should

not make a practice of printing false information. The
newspaper’s purpose

should be to inform, not misinform.Rachel Miller

Second-year

Pre-political science

Free speech and the dollar

Editor:

In response to this week’s question, newspapers must run
controversial

advertisements because of their responsibility to their
readership and

therein to themselves. As a student who has been an account
executive at

the Daily Bruin, and an intern with two advertising agencies and
several

media outlets, I have come to understand the important and
integral role of

advertising in our capitalistic society.

In a society that is like a complex machine of buying and
selling,

advertising is the fuel that drives our country. Advertising
tugs at the

heart of our fears, fantasies and needs to spark a system of
political,

social and economic exchange that impacts and influences
everyone and

everything, including the media.

Despite the responsibility to report the news, the media must
balance

editorial coverage with advertising space. Although the First
Amendment

would best be served if practiced without pressures and
proclivities, the

media business is like any other business, one that is burdened
by the

bottom-line.

For newspapers, television stations and radio stations
alike,

advertisements serve as the lifeblood that finances their
existence and

facilitates their reporting. Advertisements, even controversial
ones, are

an inescapable reality for the media because they provide the
means to an

end which we all take part in.

In fact, I would argue that the economic impact of
advertisements even

outweighs those of free speech. The livelihood of the media is
dictated as

much by finances as by free speech – two different factors that
have the

same consequential effect. But I believe that today, the media
would sooner

guarantee their existence tomorrow than the ideals of
yesterday.

Nevertheless, I believe that all advertisers need to pass
certain

thresholds of decency and obscenity as our laws already
dictate.

Advertisers need to meet, but not surpass such thresholds,
particularly at

an institution like UCLA – a school renown for progressive
thought and

regressive financial standing.

When all is said, done and considered, controversial ads will
always run

in America for financial, if not free speech reasons. And that
is fine with

me because I enjoy my free speech and my newspaper’s free speech
- even if

at the cost of a little controversy.Karman Ng

Senior

Political science/Asian American

studies specialization

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