Student paper publishes controversial cartoons - Part 1

DeKalb, IL – On February 13, Northern Illinois University's student-run newspaper, the Northern Star, published the 12 controversial Danish cartoons that have sparked protests by Muslims around the world. Muslims object to the depiction of the Prophet Muhammed in the cartoons. The drawings were re-published in several European newspapers, but most American papers have declined to run them.

The Northern Star published the Danish cartoons a few days after they appeared in the Daily Illini, a student newspaper at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. The Daily Illini's editor-in-chief and opinions editor were subsequently fired. The paper's publisher said the editor had deliberately kept other editors and the editorial board in the dark about his plans to publish the cartoons.

By comparison, the fallout at NIU has been non-existent. We talked with Derek Wright, the editor-in-chief of the Northern Star. He says the paper decided to publish the cartoons after careful deliberation.