Daily Northwestern editor responds to criticism

Updated 11/12/2019 10:55 AM

Daily Northwestern editor-in-chief Troy Closson took to Twitter late Monday night to defend his decision to publish an editorial apologizing for his newspaper's coverage of a recent campus visit by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the resulting student protest.

In a series of nine tweets, this is what he had to say:


"Yesterday, @thedailynu published a statement on our coverage of the Jeff Sessions event and protests on campus last week and I wanted to address the concerns that everyone has shared on Twitter.

There's a lot that I could talk about, but first want to say that we covered the protest to its full extent and stand by our reporting. Our statement addressed some legitimate areas of growth we noticed in our reporting, but also overcorrected in others.

One of the first things I was told when I came into this position was that I was the third black (editor-in-chief) in The Daily's more than 135 years of publication. I knew that would come with a lot of pressure, but didn't realize how much until over the past two weeks.

Being in this role and balancing our coverage and the role of this paper on campus with my racial identity -- and knowing how our paper has historically failed students of color, and particularly black students, has been incredibly challenging to navigate.

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And our statement and the areas it fell short were largely a result of that -- of how challenging it can be for marginalized students to navigate situations like those this past week while balancing our identities, roles as student journalists and positions as students at NU.

I appreciate the concerns raised w/ our statement and understand how different parts can prompt worry re: the values we have as a student newspaper. We aren't unclear about our rights as a newspaper to cover student protest, but also understand the need to do so with empathy.

Know that our staff is doing the best we can to do our jobs as student journalists while working through gaps in knowledge about what student journalism consists of -- and showing that we at least hear the real concerns from students.

I value the feedback provided in how to navigate situations like this in the future, and more than that, really appreciate everyone who reached out to just ask if I was OK.

The last thing I want to say is that I hope in providing critiques and feedback of our statement, you can direct that toward me. The other staff members whose names are on it don't have the final say, I do. I can live with the consequences of that, but they shouldn't have to."

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