Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I was upset by the photo illustration accompanying the opinion piece, “Mohel Practice May Do More Harm than Good” that ran on March 2. Published one week after The Beacon ran a controversial Danish cartoon, I imagined that the editors would express more cultural sensitivity than to select a graphic that seemingly poked fun at Judaism and a serious issue.,Mohel graphic controversy

Dear Editor,

I was upset by the photo illustration accompanying the opinion piece, “Mohel Practice May Do More Harm than Good” that ran on March 2. Published one week after The Beacon ran a controversial Danish cartoon, I imagined that the editors would express more cultural sensitivity than to select a graphic that seemingly poked fun at Judaism and a serious issue. While I agree that issues surrounding religion, such as the one discussed in the piece should be written about, I also believe that there is an appropriate way to cover them. This issue is serious enough to merit a news story, and I believe that if The Beacon wanted to run something on it, it would have been a better choice to gather both sides of this issue and relate it back to Emerson by interviewing Jewish students and asking for their opinions.

I support free speech, but I caution The Beacon that whether or not it is intending to do so, the recent opinion pieces have sent a message to the student body that “its” newspaper is targeting various religions.

Get This Week's News

All the big stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning 

My main concern with the March 2 issue, however, is the graphic.

While the opinion piece attempted to make the statement that this topic deserves attention, the photo illustration of an Orthodox Jewish mohel with the “no” symbol placed over his mouth completely undermines it.

My first question is who is this mohel and how is he involved in the topic at hand? My second thought is that the universal “no” symbol appears to call for the mohel to be barred from speech, (a protected right valued highly by The Beacon itself) and is therefore in poor taste.

Lastly, I question how much news value is in this illustration. Like articles, photo illustrations are meant to inform and because this graphic contributes nothing to the news except for a joke, I believe that it has no place running beside such a serious issue.

I hope that The Beacon will listen to the voices of the students it serves and exercise its power carefully in future issues.

-Lauren Johnson

Print Journalism Major

Class of 2007