In a story that will surely captivate Fox News pundits for at least the next week, the student newspaper at Northwestern released a statement about their own reporting, following a visit to campus by Jeff Sessions.
“We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced at the Sessions event, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night — along with how we plan to move forward.”https://t.co/RAjHSA349f
— The Daily Northwestern (@thedailynu) November 12, 2019
Essentially, the newspaper is apologizing for the way it covered the protest resulting from Sessions' presence. According to their statement, some students were upset that they were photographed, or contacted via the school directory, or texted for comments on the protest, mostly out of fear of retaliation by either the school administration, or the media at large, or really wrathful authority figures of any kind.
This, of course, comes on the heels of the recent debacle at Harvard, where reporters at the Harvard Crimson reached out to ICE for a comment after another protest, which is also a…fairly standard journalistic practice. While the concerns of these individual students might be valid, the entire field of news reporting should not be expected to compromise itself and over-cautiously cater to needs of every possible individual. This doesn't mean that journalists—student, or professional—should not try to approach situations with empathy and sensitivity, particularly when dealing with subjects who might be placed at risk by their reporting. In the case of the Daily Northwestern, the paper's backpedaling response may be a prime example of over-correcting for such sensitivities. Read the rest