Our true press freedom is under threat


Marco Milani

#PostForThePress is a trending topic on Twitter for World Press Freedom Day

Today is World Press Freedom Day in the United States, and on this day, as a journalist, I feel incredibly lucky to live in a country where we are able to report on what people care about, and not be censored by any government or regime.

Despite this, I feel that we are being censored here at Skyline.

As the Skyline View’s most recent editorial describes, the writers and reporters of The Skyline View are struggling to get sources from our school. This is due to an email sent out to the staff from the new president, saying that we have to go through the school’s PR department rather than directly contacting the professors.

“With this email, the new president has aimed to create a glass wall between Skyline College staff and the press,” the editorial read. “It is a shame that the president’s office has chosen to censor information by driving the truth away from the college’s community, rather than creating a better way to access information”

Despite the fact that Skyline’s president, Melissa Moreno, sent out an updated email that essentially loosened the restrictions of the PR department to get interviews, there is still an amount of censorship that is being imposed upon us.

The Skyline View is protected under the freedom of the press, as well as freedom of speech. As mentioned in the editorial, these new guidelines limit the rights that the First Amendment grants us.

Recently, our editor-in-chief Umaima Ejaz expressed how important student journalism is. She mentioned a report by PEN America that showed that this is just as important as ever.

“Even with often insufficient access to the necessary resources, we for years have kept people with powerful positions in our institutions in check,” Ejaz said.

With that said, as the editor of The Skyline View’s opinion section, I am disappointed and frankly sickened by the fact that our own school is, essentially, repressing us. We are not a glorified PR department — We are, as our tagline, which is featured in our logo seen in print and online alike, says, “the voice of Skyline College.”

We have also been fortunate enough to expand our reporting beyond our campus, and reporting on events and happenings on the other two campuses in the district, the College of San Mateo and Cañada College. Therefore, if they are attempting to silence us, they are also attempting to repress coverage of what is happening elsewhere around the district and among the broader community, not just what goes on at Skyline.

We might be a small publication, on a small campus tucked into a sliver of San Mateo County, but we nonetheless possess a certain amount of influence. We will not be silenced, and will continue to work our tails off to bring you the best reporting possible, and we refuse to be censored or silenced by a campus that is supposed to be advocating for us.

So, on this World Press Freedom day, let us reflect on how lucky we are to live in a country that grants us this freedom to report, and fight those who attempt to silence the voices that matter, including community college publications.