UNF's Spinnaker Newspaper Cover Depicting Oral Sex Called 'Necessary'

3:40 PM, Mar 29, 2011   |    comments
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The controversial cover to the University of North Florida's newspaper "Spinnaker"


JACKSONVILLE, Florida (WTLV)  -- "I think this cover and this story were both informative and necessary," said Spinnaker Editor-in-Chief Josh Gore. 

Defending his decision to use the cover shot, he said the provocative image forces students to care about the story.

The University of North Florida student newspaper wanted to highlight the link between throat cancer and human papillomavirus after practicing oral sex with an infected partner.

"It's something that's behind closed doors, people refuse to talk about it, to talk about it in the open," he said.

READ: Print edition of UNF's Spinnaker newspaper (PDF)

While the subject matter is informative, some students questioned whether the cover shot went too far.

"I believe that the story would have been better off without the cover. It was provocative and controversial, but it didn't add to the story," said Ryan Winter. 

He sits on the advisory panel for student media at the college and thinks the cover is so offensive, it should be taken off newsstands.

"It's also crucial that our leaders in the press do due diligence in making sure they make the right choices," he said.

The newspaper is being reprimanded for a choice it made last week. After going to press a day late, the student government voted, for the first time in years, to dock them 3-days of funding.

While some students have drawn a connection between the controversial cover and the lost wages, the budget committee says they're unrelated events.

"It was very clear per records and per committee it had absolutely nothing to do with the content or the cover," said John Scorza, a junior who sits on the Budget Committee.  

Related: Oral sex depicted on student newspaper cover

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