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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 31, 1975)
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KIUEL? Itf IKE way
Josh mail says less
than silence of faith
Well, folks, here it is: the Josh editorial to end all Josh
editorials I hope. We've seen his advance publicity for months,
we've listened to his advocates for weeks; some of us have even
heard the man himself and now we've read-are still
reading volumes of letters and editorial columns continuing the
issue, days after the man's departure.
We at the Daily Nebraskan office have been exposed to our
share of the Great Josh Debate and, like everyone else, we've
contributed our (mostly off the record) comments.
Since journalists tend to be cynical by nature, many of our
remarks have been wisecracks and the controversy over this Josh
McDowell provided a barn-sized target for our somewhat jaded
sense of humor.
What many of us haven't known is that one of our staff
members is active in the Campus Crusade for Christ. For several
days he listened to our joking, our frequent arguments and our
sometimes derogatory comments on the Josh debate-and he
usually listened in silence.
He didn't think it necessary to respond to our raillery-though
he admits he's had to bite his tongue at times-because his faith in
Christ is secure. So secure, in fact, that those of us who know of
his beliefs, but lack his faith, are comfortable expressing our views
to each other in his presence.
Don't misunderstand-he's not a closef Christian, hiding his light
under a bushel. He doesn't deny his faith when he's around us. But
he is strong enough in his beliefs that he can let our comments roll
off his back.
My point is this. All the posters about Josh, all the newspaper
ads, the messages on chalkboards, the leafleting, the boxes, the
bears-all the advance publicity, ail the letters to the editor have
not made a tenth of the impression that one man's silence has
The defensive writings-and rantings-that have filled bur
editorial pages for several days only reinforce myeeling that the
writers are not as sure of their beliefs as they claim to be.
Their endless stream of words I can dismiss. It only serves to'
reinforce my disillusionment with Christianity.
But I cannot ignore my fellow staff member's calm silence, for
it wakes in me the uncomfortable suspicion that it may be founded
in something real, that it may be a silence born of listening to a
Voice my fellow cynics and I have never heard.
Women's Pages -who for?
Several months ago, Ms. magazine pointedly
asked the question, "Women's pages: are they
worth the paper they're printed on?"
As the machinery goes into gear for the
publication of the next issue of UNL's own
Women's Pages, the question strikes home. Does
a feminist newspaper fill a real need on campus?
In one corner of the Women's Resource
Center in the Nebraska Union lies a large stack of
Women's Pages which bear the date Dec. 4, 1974.
The papers are leftovers, their presence due to a
series of problems which have plagued the paper
since its first publication.
One of the greatest of these problems is the
haphazard manner in which the paper is manged.
Lack of funds is a primary cause, and results in a
similar off-and-on management of the Resource
Center. The paper relies, as does the Center, on a
few volunteers. The men and women concerned
are sincere, but as students they find that work
with Women 's Pages is the first thing to go when
classes start getting tough.
Until recently, there has been no one person
in charge of the paper, so deadlines are easily
overlooked, which accounts for the somewhat
irregular appearance of the paper. Nor is there
any consistency in the quality of material
maintained. Many of those working with the
paper have little or no journalism experience,
which is not necessarily a prerequisite to a
quality publication, but does help in the
But the big question that the authors of
Women's Pages must answer before they can pull
together a paper is, what audience arc we trying
to reach? The majority of men and women on
campus come from relatively small towns in rural
areas. The approach, then, should be geared to
such an audience. And more important, the
woman which I would think Women's Pages
wants to reach is not the avowed feminist, but
the woman who does not fully understand the
issues of the women's movement, who has
questions, but who is put off by anything that
suggests radicalism. -
This is not to suggest a sugar-coated, simple
publication. But perhaps the authors of Women's
Pages should come back to Nebraska and leave
the "underground newspapers" to Berkeley. The
similarity in appearance to the Lincoln Gazette
and the use of heavy, dark graphics may scare
away more readers than does the actual content
of the paper. Although the Gazette, along with
similar publications, plays a vital role in the
airing of important problems, too many folks
have been turned off by the hard-sell approach
and avoid reading something which, at first
glance seems to contain only harsh criticism or
The last issue of Women's Pages was
encouraging. Focused on women in the arts, it
was concerned with local people as well as
history and the nation. It included many fine
photographs and interesting articles.
Unfortunately, too many must have already
decided that Women 's Pages is- not their cup of
tea. This attitude, combined with ill-timed
distribution during the final two weeks of first
semester, forced the stacks of Women's Pages to
be carted back into the corner.
Informing the public of women's issues
appears to be a useful task for the paper, as
evidenced in the increase in female-oriented
classes, broadcasts and magazines. It is now
simply a question of improving an image to reach
mat important audience.
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friday, january 31, 1975
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