CNM shuts down student newspaper over sex issue

Posted at: 03/26/2013 10:29 PM
By: Tom Joles, KOB Eyewitness News 4

CNM’s award winning student newspaper has been shut down until further notice.

A special issue devoted exclusively to sex was too much for some of the administrators. Students say the school is trying to seize all copies of the sex issue so people can’t read it.

“People were pulling all the papers off the stands and weren't identifying themselves until I asked and they said they were part of the administration.  They were pulling papers off the stand and actually out of peoples' hands,” Editor-in Chief Jyllian Roach said.

CNM says the students clearly crossed the line with the sex issue. In a statement issued Tuesday, CNM said, "CNM does not have a journalism program, which has limited the college's ability to provide the education and training that students need to appropriately operate a newspaper that is distributed to a student body of nearly 30,000."

What do some of the students think of the issue?

Cher Otto said, “If that's the students' opinion, that that's your opinion.  They have a right to say what they want.”

Ernest Madrid agreed.  "I think personally, why can't you talk about it.  Unless they meant it in offense, but I don't think they'd do that.”

Todd Swartz  is also on the papers’ side. “Well, the paper is for the students to voice what they want to talk about and not what the staff wants to talk about.”

Many of the Chronicle’s staffers don’t understand what the fuss is all about.

"I was just stupified.  I didn't know what to take of it.  You don't see stuff like that normally happening on a college paper. There's a lot of freedoms we have being press," investigative reporter Daniel Johnson said.

They justify the sex issue, saying sex is something college students naturally want to know about.

"This issue is all about sex and sexuality.  It's not tongue and cheek.  It's not raunchy.  It's about things you don't normally hear that we should be talking about," Johnson said.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press awarded the Chronicle third place in Best in Show for two-year college newspapers.

Now, they don’t know if they’ll have a newspaper, as CNM has suspended operations until at least the end of the semester.