‘You Are Not Alone’: New Conservative Student Newspapers Challenge Liberal Narratives On Campus

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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  • College students are starting conservative newspapers on their college campuses to provide an outlet for different perspectives to be published.
  • One conservative newspaper will publish a January edition tackling diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • “Mainstream media pushes opinions and ideas onto their audience as if they’re all factual, and they attempt to censor those who fight against their narrative,” Madeline Costa, editor-in-chief of The Soapbox at Louisiana State University, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. 

Conservative college students across the country are starting conservative newspapers to challenge the dominant liberal narrative peddled on their campuses, students told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

These student-run newspapers are often dedicated to providing a space for free speech and different perspectives due to overt leftist politics in mainstream campus outlets, the DCNF learned. Legacy student newspapers across the country have run articles committed to anti-racism, argued for limitations on free speech and supported ideas like abolishing the police.

Thomas Stevenson, editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper The Cougar Chronicle at Brigham Young University, told the DCNF that the publication was founded to give conservative students a larger voice on campus. (RELATED: University Revises Its Student Snitching System After Legal Group Says It Can’t Punish Protected Speech)

“Even though BYU is considered one of the most conservative schools, according to media bias sites, our official school newspaper, the Daily Universe, still leans liberal,” he explained. “An independent, further-left paper also existed at the time of our founding, but there was no independent conservative reporting publication that we knew of. … So we are the only student run publication at this point that is openly conservative or speaks on topics from a conservative perspective.”

Stevenson told the DCNF that the paper has been well-received by students and professors.

“There is a need for the Cougar Chronicle because students are not getting these views from their peers nearly anywhere else. They might see it nationally, but not locally at their own school,” he said. “We want the main takeaway from our articles to be that as a conservative student, at what is supposed to be one of the most conservative schools in the country, you are not alone in what you think even if it seems that way.”

The Capstone Free Press, which reports from a conservative perspective at the University of Alabama and is funded by the nonprofit Intercollegiate Studies Institute, recently announced its first print issue will be published in January and focus on the increase of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) on campus, the College Fix reported.

Ginger Morrow, editor-in-chief of the Capstone Free Press, told the DCNF that the publication exists to publish information that the school’s student-run publication The Crimson White will not. She referred to several examples of the Crimson White expressing overtly liberal opinions, including endorsing Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election.

“The Crimson White has been in operation on the UA campus since 1894. Its reputation precedes it among conservatives on the UA campus,” she said. “On many occasions, the CW has unfairly portrayed conservatives or misrepresented comments from conservative campus leaders.”

A spokesperson for the Crimson White told the DCNF that it “is a nonpartisan publication, and [the] news team utilizes the same reporting process for all stories.”

The Capstone Free Press, which was launched March 2022, will publish a printed edition of its paper in January and tackle diversity, equity and inclusion, the College Fix reported.

“This is our first print issue, so we thought DEI, an issue that is very relevant to college students, would be a great place to start,” she told the DCNF.

The Free Press also covered an article about an initiative to change the school’s fight song and about the Crimson White’s website advertising Planned Parenthood, Morrow said.

“Somebody had to push back on that,” she claimed. “They can’t claim to be unbiased or representative of general student opinion when they go out of their way to favor one side. ”

Nathaniel Greve, webmaster and cofounder of The Liberty Jacket, which was started at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2021, told the DCNF the platform was started “to provide a more suitable format for students to discuss ideas and come to a better understanding of those who think differently than them.”

“The way students handled political discourse on platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and the school newspaper, simply was not productive,” he said.

“At the close of our second year, we have fostered civil and productive debate on campus, given a voice to students who often go unheard, and provided students of all political outlooks to articulate their position and engage with differing opinions … more honestly,” Greve said.

Madeline Costa, editor-in-chief of The Soapbox at Louisiana State University, told the DCNF that the idea for the paper began in 2021 when it was “noticed that there was a great amount of misinformation being spread around about conservatism in general, especially in the media and on campus.”

“Mainstream media pushes opinions and ideas onto their audience as if they’re all factual, and they attempt to censor those who fight against their narrative,” she said. “Our organization is one that fights against this and wishes to show people the unadulterated truth.”

At the University of Texas at Austin, conservative students learn how to write and build their resume through the student-run publication The Texas Horn, Editor-in-Chief Charles Jackson Paul told the DCNF.

“Because The Horn has no official association with UT, we do not have to worry about me being removed or the Horn losing its funding just because we published a controversial article,” he said.

Likewise, a new conservative-branded newspaper is preparing to launch at the University of Pittsburgh after students complained of having negative experiences with the student publication The Pitt News, Campus Reform reported.

“The Pitt Patriot was conceived because of a blatant bias that has been portrayed by the school paper, The Pitt News. In the past, several students wishing to publish right-leaning (and pro-Israel) articles have been denied on the basis of the political opinions they were promoting,” Hannah Margolis, who will reportedly be the paper’s opinion editor, told the DCNF. “However, one cannot reject the opposing side of an ideology from being published and not expect pushback to occur. What the staff of The Pitt Patriot  wishes to do is level the playing field and open a forum where students are not denied the ability to speak their potentially controversial opinions.”

Brigham Young University, the Daily Universe, the University of Alabama, the Crimson White, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, the University of Texas at Austin, Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the University of Pittsburgh did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

This story has been updated with comment from The Pitt Patriot and the Crimson White.

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