Censorship & Judy Blume

EFFECTS OF CENSORSHIP

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Censorship has negative effects
on readers, writers, publishers, educators and librarians.

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                           EDUCATORS

Educators are trusted with a big part of our children’s lives. Teaching them. It’s a partnership with parents and should be taken seriously and personal opinions of educators should not be part of their job, When parents demand censoring in schools, educators are limited to what they can use and how they can use it when it comes to teaching our children. They must remember that they are protected by the law, Teachers are either praised by parents or seen as betraying parents protection of their children. History must be taught, vital information must be available, independent opinions must be set aside. Educators have control and power over what is being taught and censorship can makes this control and power one-sided.


                       LIBRARIANS

Librarians and censorship; it must be a battle that never ends. Libraries should be places that people find literature and information they need and librarians must take this into consideration when selecting library materials. School librarians want to be trusted by administrators, parents and students. This puts them in a position of struggle and a position of control. They too must remain subjective and not allow personal feelings and beliefs to affect their judgment and choices. In public libraries, librarians must follow the Library Bill of Rights which states they are to fight censorship as best they can.  School libraries tend to follow what the educators and parents think is best, even if it’s against the first amendment.
                           READERS

Readers are the reason writer’s put their message on paper. They are short-changed by censorship because the ideas, thoughts and messages of writers are being kept from them. Readers are being controlled by censorship. It forces the views of an individual or group upon a reader; what is offensive to one might not be to another. The first amendment protects our rights as Americans to receive information and ideas so our rights are infringed upon with literary censorship. Censorship effects readers from seeing things from a different perspective and different from the way they think. It limits what readers are exposed to. ALL of this is very negative for readers.


                      WRITERS

Writers are negatively impacted by censorship because it can be constricting and controlling.  It limits and controls their creativity. It can prevent the writer from having his views, thoughts and ideas being available to readers. It prevents writers from expressing what they want to, the way they want to. They may be unable to publish what they want or if they are published, censoring can greatly reduce the number of people writers have the ability to reach. It can also have an impact on the number of books sold, impacting the financial stability of writer’s. It may discourage some writer’s from writing, feeling they can’t say what they want to, so it may silence some writers.

Writers such as Judy Blume who is so often censored, often become anti-censorship activistsl, fighting for their readers first amendment rights.


     AUTHOR JUDY BLUME ON THE    
              EFFECTS OF CENSORSHIP

   "In this age of censorship I mourn the loss of books that will 
   never be written, I mourn the voices that will be silenced --
   writers’ voices, teachers’ voices, students’ voices -- and all
   because of fear. How many have resorted to self-censorship?
   How many are saying to themselves, “Nope...can’t write about
   that.Can’t teach that book. Can’t have that book in our
   collection. Can’t let my student write that editorial in the school
   paper.”

                        PUBLISHERS


Publishers are ultimately the ones who decide what goes to print and have a huge impact on content. They have to be objective of the works of their writers and view it from the aspect of “who might this offend?” I’m sure it is difficult to convince a writer to change part of what they wrote, just to avoid controversy or ensure publication. But publishers KNOW controversy, they KNOW what sells and they KNOW what will be challenged. They must decide if the controversial material is worth the risk of losing readers, will it impact the message the writer intended, will it impact them and the writer financially. Publishers have a difficult role in censorship.

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