An editor of the Harvard Crimson has quit her post over the newspaper’s decision to request a comment from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on an anti-ICE rally on campus, accusing the publication of clinging to “objectivity and transparency.”
Laura S. Veira-Ramirez, class of 2020, said in a Monday op-ed that she had resigned as an editorial editor “due to The Crimson’s reminder to me that it does not support undocumented students on this campus” by placing “oppressive journalistic norms” over “relationships on campus.”
“The Crimson hides behind its claim of ‘unbiased’ journalism to justify its decision to request comment from ICE, the U.S. deportation machine, for comment on a matter that doesn’t affect those in leadership,” she said in the op-ed headlined, “My First and Last Day as an Undocumented Crimson Editor.”
Column: “The Crimson has made it clear that it is not and has never been worthy of my time and labor.” https://t.co/wx8KlZTxze— The Harvard Crimson (@thecrimson) November 4, 2019
“The power dynamic shows through again as leadership clings to objectivity and transparency, losing valuable editors and straining relationships with undocumented students and affinity groups,” she continued.
The newspaper has defended its decision to seek comment from ICE in its coverage of a Sept. 12 anti-ICE rally held by Act on a Dream, citing its commitment to “thorough, balanced, and unbiased” reporting.
“A world where news outlets categorically refuse to contact certain kinds of sources — a world where news outlets let third-party groups dictate the terms of their coverage — is a less informed, less accurate, and ultimately less democratic world,” said editors Angela N. Fu and Kristine E. Guillaume in an Oct. 22 note to readers.
The editors also said that Act on a Dream had circulated a petition “calling on The Crimson to change its policies so that it never contacts ICE for comment again and apologize for the “harm [it] inflicted on the undocumented community.”
In her op-ed, Ms. Veira-Ramirez, a member of the senior class, said she had disagreed with other Crimson staffers on then-Harvard President Drew Faust’s decision in 2016 not to declare the university a “sanctuary campus.”
“Objectivity is patronizing in inferring people can be objective at all,” she said. “While the organization is separate from Harvard, it is clear this is the population they are meant to serve. Instead of conforming to oppressive journalistic norms, The Crimson should be more concerned with its relationships on campus.”
Founded in 1873, the Crimson identifies itself as the nation’s “oldest continuously published daily college newspaper.”
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