Freedom of Speech – UPSC Ethics


Recently, a student belonging to one of India’s prestigious colleges teaching liberal arts was suspended for carrying the principal’s interview in an online magazine. The principal suspended him citing the reason that his interview was published before it could be edited and approved.
Do you think Principal was right in suspending the student from his classes? In your opinion, what values are compromised by both the principal and the student? Discuss. (200 Words)
Interview is an open ended discussion between interviewer and respondent. Here, if there was prior agreement between Principal and interviewer or already set protocol of college such that, any material before put up for publication has to be approved. Then the student is wrong as he broke the protocol.
Principal holds rights to take action BUT with agreement of other stakeholders like student(s), professors etc.
Both Interviewer and Respondent are free to ask and answer respectively. In this case Principal gave interview and his interview was published before showing him draft version without his approval this is failure of journalism ethics from student.
But at the same time Principal taking such harsh and without mediation decision single-handedly shows lack of democracy in college administration. Also, as it is Liberal Arts College, so such action by principal also doesn’t showcase good example for what college stands for.
So, here both student and principal shows lack of ethics for what they stand for which is journalism and liberalness.



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