The Atlantic

Why I Cover Campus Controversies

Should journalists care about the speech wars in the era of Donald Trump?
Source: Bettman Archive / Getty Images

Each fall semester, America’s long-running debate about campus politics begins again. And I’ll take part this year as I have in years past, especially when the debate concerns matters of free speech.

Critics say my energies are misplaced.

There is no free speech-crisis on campus, they insist––and I agree. A crisis is a discrete period of anomalous trouble or danger. As I see it, free speech is perennially under attack. It always requires liberals in every era to aggressively protect and defend it, against governments to safeguard the First Amendment, and against nongovernment censors when they have power to do

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