Three cheers to the student newspaper for standing its ground
The Harvard Crimson deserves a bit of commendation this week. The student newspaper stood its ground against a group of activists who were incensed that the publication, after covering a pro-immigration, anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement rally on campus, reached out to ICE for comment. That’s basic stuff, journalism 101, nothing at all controversial or remarkable. The activists were very angry about it, however, claiming that the newspaper’s policy of contacting relevant sources “blatantly endangers undocumented students on our campus.”
It doesn’t, of course, and to its credit The Crimson stood its ground—in a time of growing campus progressive hysteria, where activists can force administrators to quit and bring campuses to a grinding halt, it is probably tempting to just give in and avoid a destructive political mess. It is encouraging to see student journalists grasp the basic principle of journalism itself, which is: Gather facts. As much facts as you can. All the time. From everywhere. This is the essence of reporting. That kind of policy does not, as the activists claim, “place students under threat.” Authentic journalism is never something on which a journalist needs to compromise.
American media has a great many flaws; there are many ways to improve it, particularly in the Age of Trump, when much journalism has simply become a pretext for criticizing or denigrating the president in some way. It is heartening to witness young journalists refusing to adopt a slanted, partisan coverage policy to satisfy liberal campus activists; if the leaders of The Crimson carry and spread this principle forward into the wider media world, it can only help. Good for them, and shame on the bullies who attempted to browbeat a newspaper into abandoning its integrity in the service of partisan politics.
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