WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Student Newspaper Apologized for Doing Journalism

Nov 20, 2019

Chicago-based Robert Feder, who reports on the media, joined others in taking to task the student newspaper at Northwestern University. The Daily Northwestern's editor-in-chief and eight other editors signed an editorial that apologized for the paper's coverage of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' appearance at a College Republicans event and the protests that accompanied his appearance.

According to Feder, some of the protesters complained about the newspaper posting photos of the event, finding them “re-traumatizing and invasive.”  The editors agreed that the photos should not have appeared.

The editors also apologized for reporters using the university’s directory to obtain phone numbers for students and asking if they’d be willing to be interviewed.

The Shop Talk panelists agreed with those who said the newspaper should not have apologized for its reporting on a public event. The panelists hope this proved to be a learning experience for the student journalists.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

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