by Adam Sabes, Campus Reform
The dean of the School of Journalism at Northwestern University had some harsh words for the student activists responsible for “bullying and badgering” their student newspaper into issuing an apology for reporting on protests of an appearance by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Dean for the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications Charles Whitaker defended The Daily Northwestern in a statement, saying that the paper’s staff went “in no way beyond the bounds of fair, responsible journalism.”
The Daily came under fire after its coverage of protests of a lecture, given by Sessions, hosted by the Northwestern College Republicans on November 5th. The paper’s photo editor Collin Boyle took now-deleted photos of students that protesters described as “retraumatizing and intrusive,” as previously covered by Campus Reform.
Caving to protesters’ demands, editors from The Daily ultimately apologized for their coverage of the event, stating that as a campus newspaper, “we must operate differently than a professional publication in these circumstances.”
In Whitaker’s statement, the dean defended the student newspaper, saying that he was “deeply troubled” by the amount of bullying that The Daily staffers had endured for the “‘sin’ of doing journalism.”
The dean asserted that it is “naÏve” and “wrong-headed” for student activists to declare that staffers at The Daily had violated personal space of protesters at the event by reporting on the event, noting that the protest was in public.
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