Statement From Washington Square News
February 19, 2019
We understand the criticisms raised by some members of the NYU activist community — when you’re dedicated to a cause, you want that cause to be given the same level of respect and care that you have for it. WSN tries to give voice to both activists and the university. We are committed to factual, accurate reporting, not to any specific group. If some activists choose not to provide comment for our coverage, then we’re left to report on what is said in public forums and meetings. We will continue to cover activist causes on campus and request comment from them. We hope in the future they will be willing to work with us.
In the past and even in this most recent event, when WSN is criticized, we reach out to the parties involved to discuss what they perceive to be the flaws in our coverage. Some student activists have continually refused to have discussions, citing corrections in the paper that were made semesters ago by staff members who are no longer with WSN. We publicly acknowledge when we make errors and welcome letters to the editor from anyone disagreeing with how we do our jobs.
The recent story criticized by some student activists is entitled, “Student Government Resolution, Initially on BDS, Drops Political Ties.” The story is completely factually correct, and no one has disputed this. What some activists are taking issue with is the use of the phrase “so-called BDS Resolution” in the deck of the article. The reasoning behind that wording is that the title of the resolution is not “BDS Resolution,” but it has been referred to as such by students (and WSN). In the past, activists expressed they didn’t like it being called the BDS Resolution, so WSN included the phrase “so-called” so that we could still use the title most students know the resolution by while not suggesting it is the actual title. We serve an audience larger than just the activist community.
At the end of the day, WSN has always and will always acknowledge when there is a factual error in our reporting. We also deeply reflect on our coverage when we are criticized like this. We will not, however, change the framing or narrative of a piece to fit with anyone’s agenda — university, activists or otherwise.
Last updated Feb. 19, 2019, 2:21 p.m.