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

5:40 PM, Mar 29, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "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, Gore said the provocative image forces students to care about the story.

The newspaper wanted to highlight the link between contracting throat cancer and human papillomavirus, and 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.

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

And 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.

According to Scorza, the government froze the Spinnaker's accounts because going to press a day late meant running an ad a day late. The student government is saying it then had to payback the client for the ad.

However, Gore said the paper never invoiced the company whose ad did not run, so it is not possible that the student government was charged.

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, who sits on the advisory panel for student media at the university.

Winter said 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.

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