Statement From Washington Square News

WSN recently published an article, “NYU Professor Accused of Inciting City-Wide Subway Protests,” which has received criticism from Decolonize This Place and their supporters. While WSN stands by our coverage of the topic, we recognize the validity of the criticism made against the piece.

First and foremost, criticism focused on the author of the article, who has done outstanding reporting and writing for WSN, is misplaced. Every piece we publish goes through an extensive editorial process, so any criticism should refrain from personal attacks against writers and focus on the organization as a whole, especially myself. 

With that said, points made about the content of the article must be addressed. As noted in the piece, this story came from an article that ran in the New York Post. The Post’s article, which was overtly aggressive and antagonistic in tone, attempted to frame the issue from a one-sided perspective, with quotes selected to craft a menacing picture of Professor Amin Husain and the movement as a whole. What we attempted to do was strip the politicization of the Post’s story and report on the facts that seemed relevant to the NYU community. In some ways, we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do. 

Despite reaching out to Professor Husain and some students involved in Decolonize This Place, no one we contacted who supported the movement was able to give a comment for the story. Especially given the legal implications of the situation at hand, pressing individuals to give their thoughts about participating in a protest on record did not seem to be in the best interest of those individuals. While we quoted the Decolonize This Place website as an attempt to recognize their viewpoint, we realize this isn’t enough. WSN strives for accurate and balanced reporting on issues concerning the community at large. The strength of our stories depends on the strength of our reporting, and our reporting is defined by our sources, or lack thereof. We regret not being able to represent their perspective on the situation and we understand the frustration of not being heard or fairly represented. 

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If Professor Husain or any member of Decolonize This Place would like to share their side, we encourage them to reach out to our News Desk by emailing [email protected]. We want to hear every perspective and we don’t want our community to feel as though we’re only here to tell a one-sided story. If anyone wants the ability to represent their own views in their own words, we encourage them to reach out to our Opinion Desk by emailing [email protected]. Finally, if anyone feels as though there’s still something left unsaid but would like to express it privately, I implore you to reach out to me by emailing [email protected]. We do the work we do because we care about our community, and it can only be done by listening to our community.

— Cole Stallone, Editor-in-Chief

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