While the choice of advertising in last week’s paper has been controversial — not least among The Metropolitan’s staff — we stand by our choice to run this one-time ad.
When deciding whether or not to run an ad, we do our best to be equitable. We ask questions like “is the product or service being advertised illegal?” and “Is the ad itself visually inappropriate?” In a world where pictures of Taylor Lautner’s shirtless abs and bikini shots of Jessica Alba adorn film advertisements (usually without complaint), the ad we ran seems positively tame.
Working part-time while attending school is a fact of life for most Metro students. Colorado cut more than $120 million in higher education funding this year, leading to tuition hikes across the state. Metro raised tuition 23 percent this year. Additionally, many of our students are nontraditional; balancing education with rent, utility bills, car payments and debt.
We agree that our graduates are likely destined for careers more ambitious than a Hooters waitress. However, we also have faith in our students to decide for themselves where they want to work, and would consider it the height of arrogance to censor an opportunity because we happen to think they deserve a better job.
Additionally, a college paper like The Metropolitan has an obligation to our student body to honestly and independently report the news. Without advertising revenue, we cannot maintain independence — and without independence, we cannot honestly serve the student body.
Our printing costs, and the salaries of our staff are paid by advertising revenue. Unlike other organizations, even other facets of the Office of Student Media, The Metropolitan does not and cannot run on student funds.
How could we effectively report on controversial decisions coming from the Board of Trustees or other Metro offices if we are beholden to them? How could anyone take us seriously when we call out student government for failures — or, by contrast, when we praise them for success — if we receive funding from them?
So we sell ads. Poor taste is a matter of opinion, and all our ads have the possibility of offending someone. As for doing a disservice to our students: when a newspaper starts determining taste and morality for its readers, that is the disservice.