“In this political climate, a request for comment is virtually the same as tipping them off, regardless of how they are contacted”
In September, students at Harvard held a protest against ICE. The student newspaper The Harvard Crimson covered the protest and as part of their story, asked ICE for comment.
Now the campus left has focused their outrage on the paper.
Morgan Phillips reports at FOX News:
Harvard student newspaper facing backlash for requesting comment from ICE
The Harvard Crimson, the university’s student-run newspaper, is facing a campus backlash after requesting comment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for an article on a campus protest against the agency.
Eleven student groups, including the Harvard College Democrats, signed a petition accusing the Harvard Crimson of showing cultural insensitivity for even contacting the government agency.
On Sept. 12, students advocating for the abolition of ICE assembled for a rally organized by student group Act on a Dream in Harvard Yard. After the protest concluded, the paper reached out to an ICE spokesperson to ask for a statement in response to the protest for an upcoming story.
Soon after, Act on a Dream published a petition, which currently has over 650 signatures, demanding The Crimson change its policies so that none of its reporters ever make contact with ICE again and apologize for the “harm [it] inflicted on the undocumented community.” It also demanded the paper declare its commitment to protecting undocumented students. The organization called on other groups to boycott speaking to the paper until it agrees to the demands.
The paper did not give ICE any information about the student protesters, but the Harvard Democrats are accusing them of “calling ICE on students.”
Read our full statement below? pic.twitter.com/5E24tT6hmM
— Harvard College Democrats (@HarvardDems) October 17, 2019
The Crimson has been forced to respond to this with an explanation of why they contacted ICE.
Angela N. Fu and Kristine E. Guillaume write:
A Note To Readers
To our readers:
Last month, The Crimson covered a rally organized by campus group Act on a Dream that called for the abolition of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During the course of our reporting, Crimson reporters requested comment from ICE — a decision that has proved controversial with many of our readers. We stand behind that decision, and we wanted to share with you our thinking.
The Crimson exists because of a belief that an uninformed campus would be a poorer one — that our readers have the right to be informed about the place where they live, work, and study. In pursuit of that goal, we seek to follow a commonly accepted set of journalistic standards, similar to those followed by professional news organizations big and small…
Let us be clear: In The Crimson’s communication with ICE’s media office, the reporters did not provide the names or immigration statuses of any individual at the protest. We did not give ICE forewarning of the protest, nor did we seek to interfere with the protest as it was occuring. Indeed, it is The Crimson’s practice to wait until a protest concludes before asking for comment from the target of the protest — a rule which was followed here. The Crimson’s outreach to ICE only consisted of public information and a broad summary of protestors’ criticisms. As noted in the story, ICE did not respond to a request for comment.
Justine Coleman of The Hill has details on the petition calling for a boycott of the Crimson:
More than 670 people have signed onto a petition condemning the Crimson for reaching out to ICE. The petition states that the student newspaper demonstrated “cultural insensitivity” by reaching out to ICE, and that it needs to “prioritize the safety of the student body they are reporting on.”
“In this political climate, a request for comment is virtually the same as tipping them off, regardless of how they are contacted,” the petition states.
The signers of the petition are requesting the newspaper apologize for “the harm they inflicted on the undocumented community,” and that it adjust its policies that require them to contact ICE for comment and “declare their commitment to protecting undocumented students on campus.”
Everyone is getting in on the action:
Until @thecrimson stops calling ICE on their fellow students, our organization will not be providing comments for their articles. We encourage our fellow campus organizers to do the same. pic.twitter.com/ygDnad5d1l
— Harvard College Dems For Warren (@Harvard4Warren) October 16, 2019
Protect the undocumented. Boycott the Crimson. pic.twitter.com/jTSNsGPr74
— Harvard PSC (@HarvardPSC) October 22, 2019
All of this campus outrage over ICE began with Trump’s presidency. Someone should tell these students that the agency existed before November of 2016.DONATE
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