- Professional newspapers and magazines do not allow any form of profanity, especially from the reporter or editor themselves.
- There are far better ways to embellish and enforce your argument, like hard evidence, quotes and citations.
- Though it may seem hard to believe, certain readers do not want to read profanity and may even be shocked by such content. Readership would decrease.
- Our goal is to be respected not only by students, but also by faculty and administrators, and the inclusion of such language would render the paper irrelevant to them; i.e. they could not publically support a newspaper with such content.
- Understanding audience is perhaps the most important aspect of journalism. Our audience is not composed entirely of students. We have to consider visiting families and parents as well.
Even as a blogger I embrace these guidelines. I run across too many blogs tackling serious subjects like politics and philosophy that use profanity liberally, as adjective, verb and noun. It is hard to take their subject material seriously if their only point emphasis is the f-word.
The best arguments are controversial because of the author's skills of manipulating content - organization, sources, human elements, relevence and rhetorical devices - not because profanity is rife throughout.
What do you think? When is profanity appropriate in journalism? When is it not?