Will McAvoy, in the HBO drama The Newsroom, tells a colleague: "I don't believe in censorship, but I'm a big believer in self-censorship." It's a simple principle that guided generations of journalists and news organizations in America for decades, but one that the press now seems to have forgotten. In an age of 24-hour online news driven by ad sales and page views, responsible journalism seems to be hard to find.
Six weeks ago, Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro wrote a fine op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he offered a ringing endorsement of academic freedom. It is therefore both surprising and disappointing that Northwestern University recently found itself embroiled in two embarrassing violations of the core principles of academic freedom.