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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

The Dartmouth's Exclusivity Policy Unfairly Excludes Vauable Contributors

To the Editor:

On the cover of last Wednesday's The Dartmouth, a story appeared about the upcoming appearances of alums Phil Lord and Chris Miller on NBC's "Caroline in the City." The article was quick to point out that both Miller and Lord drew cartoons for The Dartmouth, going so far as to reprint one of their old strips. What the article did not mention, however, was that under current D policy Miller and Lord's cartoons would never have been published in The Dartmouth because of the pair's affiliation with the Jack O'Lantern.

The D's exclusivity policy, enacted last year, prohibits anyone affiliated with other campus publications (besides Stonefence and Snapshots of Color) from writing for The D. This includes opinion columns, even though The D continues to accept submissions from non-staffers.

The purpose of the exclusivity policy, according to a statement issued by The D, is to "prevent conflicts of interest and perceptions of bias." The policy goes on to state that involvements with other publications "compromises the quality and objectivity of The Dartmouth."

Operating a daily newspaper at a school as small as Dartmouth is a massive task, and it is a credit to The Dartmouth's professionalism that they are able to be as successful as they have been. Additionally, their attempts at lifting their journalistic integrity is equally enviable. However, the exclusivity policy has served only to harm the paper by limiting its potential. With such a large number of publications on campus and such a small number of students, the Dartmouth is silencing the voices of numerous capable writers. The other school publications do not "compete" directly with the Dartmouth, but rather offer different forums for issues which the Dartmouth does not address. Though professional newspapers bar writers from writing for other newspapers in the same area, they do not prevent writers from pursuing other forums; no paper would refuse to print columns by Pat Buchanan simply because he co-hosts CNN's "Crossfire." The Dartmouth is, and always has been, the College's only newspaper, and thus there is no need for the policy. The quality of The D can only be increased by reversing the policy. This is especially true for the opinion section, which over the past year has been characterized by notoriously awful columns.

Hopefully, the next directorate of The Dartmouth will realize the folly of the exclusivity policy and repeal it.