State of the First Amendment

Editorial by Kernel staff. E-mail [email protected]

Just because the university compromised with the Kernel regarding distribution rights, doesn’t mean the fight is over.

In the wake of the Kernel’s compromise with UK regarding the distribution of the paper, multiple outlets covered the controversy and the resolution.

As aspiring journalists, the Kernel staff takes its First Amendment rights very seriously. Despite agreeing to abide by the compromise with UK, the Kernel acknowledges that UK making an exception for the Kernel does not solve the problem.

No organization has the right to contract away the rights of others. IMG’s contract with UK is unconstitutional and lifting the ban from the Kernel doesn’t make up for the potential stifling of other publications that have just as much right to distribute at Commonwealth as the Kernel.

The goal of the journalist is to be the watchdog for the people, and compromising with one paper in an effort to appease it doesn’t make up for the violation of the rights of others.

For this reason, the Kernel hopes that other publications will continue to exercise their rights to distribute at Commonwealth. The University of Kentucky is a state-funded public university, and Commonwealth is a part of its campus, therefore no one has the right to decide who can and can’t have a voice there.

Safety concerns are understandable, but no one is at any more risk distributing publications in the parking lot than the fans wandering around tailgating in that same lot. When the issue first arose, UK public relations didn’t even cite safety as one of the reasons for the distribution prevention, but rather simply said they were protecting their contract with IMG.

That being the primary reason for preventing anyone from distributing seems to show that UK is more worried about protecting its money than the rights of its students, fans and Lexington residents.