The Danish cartoon row has polarised the media world on the issue of freedom of speech, and its limits. Whilst freedom of speech as a concept is undeniably vital to any democratic society that wishes to remain healthy, it comes with a great deal of responsibility.
Newspapers should always remain self censoring, which involves being aware of their readership. The decision to not print the cartoons by the British press is correct: any positive repercussions that could possible have come out of it are not enough to counter the negative impact and insult on the Islam faith and its followers.
It is not enough to claim that the cartoons should be printed just to make the point that this publication is possible in the Western world, and in the multi cultural Europe we live in it is frankly irresponsible.
I therefore found it very surprising that Gair Rhydd, the Cardiff student newspaper, believed that printing the cartoons was the right thing to do. I’m sure that, as they have stated, at the time of going to press the issue hadn’t escalated to the stage it currently stands at and they printed them with no provocative intentions. But at the end of the day, the cartoons themselves are simply not good or thought provoking enough to merit publication.