Article on Ferguson to Palestine panel omits crucial viewpoints

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The original intent of the Ferguson to Palestine panel, covered by Kylie Fitzpatrick in a story that ran online Thursday under the headline “UT Palestine group discusses connections between Ferguson, Gaza,” was to facilitate a discussion on the shared experiences of institutionalized racism and militarized state violence. By connecting the recent events of Ferguson, Missouri, to what is occurring in Palestine and Gaza, the panelists and audience began a critical discussion on these pressing issues. However, the article covering the event a) failed to recognize black student voices, b) mislead readers in the title and c) failed to adhere to journalistic integrity and objectivity.

The voices of black students at this event were entirely excluded from the coverage or even noted as participating members of this discussion. The original article failed to note that the event was co-hosted by the Pre-Law National Black Law Student Association and Association of Black Psychologists. The article failed to include any means of representing black students in this discussion. This is ironic because a substantial proportion of the discussion related to how the media lacks coverage of (or misrepresents) the struggles of minority groups. Rather, the author made the choice to include a volunteered comment by an individual from the organization Texans for Israel who was not in attendance. 

I found the title, “UT Palestine group discusses connections between Ferguson, Gaza,” to be misleading. “UT Palestine group” suggests only pro-Palestine students organized this event. The title also suggests that the reader might learn more about what “connections between Ferguson and Gaza” were addressed in the discussion. Unfortunately, nowhere in the story does it explain the actual content discussed, which included the use of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles on civilian populations, how media coverage portrays minority struggles of racism and the respectability politics of minority groups that turns the victims into the responsible parties. 

As an unaffiliated participant in the event, I can say the author did not present a true representation of the event and its purpose. The author failed to adhere to journalistic objectivity by focusing more on the overlapping of the event with a religious holiday than on trying to convey the scope of the discussion that took place. She did this while largely ignoring the black student organizations that co-sponsored this event and the black students who participated in the discussion by not quoting them. 

As readers we must always question the integrity of the journalist, any journalist. It is the responsibility of the journalist to be objective and accurate when reporting on what takes place in the day-to-day. All consumers of any kind of media have to ask themselves how the facts are represented, what sources were used and whose voices are included or excluded. If the motto of UT is “What starts here changes the world,” then we need our journalists coming from UT to ensure that world is represented accurately. 

— Megan Maldonado, an international relations and global studies and sociology junior from Houston, in response to a Thursday news article that ran under the web headline “UT Palestine group discusses connections between Ferguson, Gaza.”

Article leaves out black voices

The original intent of the Ferguson to Palestine panel, covered by Kylie Fitzpatrick in a story that ran online Thursday under the headline “UT Palestine group discusses connections between Ferguson, Gaza,” was to facilitate a discussion on the shared experiences of institutionalized racism and militarized state violence. By connecting the recent events of Ferguson, Missouri, to what is occurring in Palestine and Gaza, the panelists and audience began a critical discussion on these pressing issues. However, the article covering the event a) failed to recognize black student voices, b) mislead readers in the title and c) failed to adhere to journalistic integrity and objectivity.

The voices of black students at this event were entirely excluded from the coverage or even noted as participating members of this discussion. The original article failed to note that the event was co-hosted by the Pre-Law National Black Law Student Association and Association of Black Psychologists. The article failed to include any means of representing black students in this discussion. This is ironic because a substantial proportion of the discussion related to how the media lacks coverage of (or misrepresents) the struggles of minority groups. Rather, the author made the choice to include a volunteered comment by an individual from the organization Texans for Israel who was not in attendance. 

I found the title, “UT Palestine group discusses connections between Ferguson, Gaza,” to be misleading. “UT Palestine group” suggests only pro-Palestine students organized this event. The title also suggests that the reader might learn more about what “connections between Ferguson and Gaza” were addressed in the discussion. Unfortunately, nowhere in the story does it explain the actual content discussed, which included the use of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles on civilian populations, how media coverage portrays minority struggles of racism and the respectability politics of minority groups that turns the victims into the responsible parties. 

As an unaffiliated participant in the event, I can say the author did not present a true representation of the event and its purpose. The author failed to adhere to journalistic objectivity by focusing more on the overlapping of the event with a religious holiday than on trying to convey the scope of the discussion that took place. She did this while largely ignoring the black student organizations that co-sponsored this event and the black students who participated in the discussion by not quoting them. 

As readers we must always question the integrity of the journalist, any journalist. It is the responsibility of the journalist to be objective and accurate when reporting on what takes place in the day-to-day. All consumers of any kind of media have to ask themselves how the facts are represented, what sources were used and whose voices are included or excluded. If the motto of UT is “What starts here changes the world,” then we need our journalists coming from UT to ensure that world is represented accurately. 

— Megan Maldonado, an international relations and global studies and sociology junior from Houston, in response to a Thursday news article that ran under the web headline “UT Palestine group discusses connections between Ferguson, Gaza.”

 

Coverage of panel shows bias

After reading the article, I felt compelled to express my disappointment with this newspaper. Wednesday’s event was co-hosted by two black student groups and discussed struggles of African Americans, but Ms. Fitzpatrick failed to include comments from any black voices. She did, however, decide to include comments from Texans for Israel, who had no involvement in the event.

As a reader, it suggests to me that Ms. Fitzpatrick, the editorial staff and possibly even the entire organization, The Daily Texan, are heavily biased against the Palestinian human rights cause, the movements in Ferguson and speaking out about blacks’ struggle in America.

The whole lot of you ought to be ashamed of such an article and the message The Daily Texan has sent by approaching the article the way it has.

Black voices matter and, without question, should have been included in this article. The Daily Texan obviously disagrees.

— Moureen Kaki, a UTSA student, in response to the same article.