The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard, recently caught flak for an action it took, but we at The Daily Eastern News stand by the college newspaper.
The newspaper, we believe, did its job correctly and should stand by the action it took because it was a necessary action.
NBC News reported Wednesday that at a Sept. 12 rally at Harvard, lead by Harvard-based student immigration advocacy group “Act on a Dream,” the group and other students called for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be abolished.
For its coverage of the rally, The Crimson reached out to ICE for comment.
Act on a Dream and other student organizations slammed the newspaper’s decision, NBC reported, and the organizations said the paper should not have contacted ICE because of “’a long history of surveilling and retaliating against those who speak out against them,’” Act on a Dream wrote in a petition to get the paper to no longer contact ICE for comment.
In an editor’s note Tuesday, the newspaper stated that it was following a common journalistic practice of allowing any individual or organization named in an article a chance to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing, NBC reported.
We at The Daily Eastern News completely agree with the action The Crimson took and believe in the very same principle it quoted in its decision.
Two of the many important ethical principles we follow in our reporting is reporting fairly and reducing harm.
In reporting fairly, we must consider all sides of the story, and in doing such, if one side is facing criticism or allegations, as The Crimson mentioned, it is our duty to make sure that side can have a chance to respond.
By only reporting one side of things, the story can be misconstrued to the way that side likes without any chance for the other to explain themselves or their opinion.
In doing this, we also try to reduce harm.
If we did not get both sides of the story, publishing a one-sided story could make the other side look bad without a fair shot.
While it is the duty of journalists to keep officials in check and be the “watchdogs” for the public, it is also our duty to inform the public of what those in power have to say in response.
There are always two sides to a story, and we as journalists must tell both of them.