The Daily Free Press stands with Black students at Boston University and condemns the racist murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Black Americans. Law enforcement is rarely appropriately held accountable for brutalizing Black people daily in the U.S. Racism is a reality that everyone can no longer ignore. We must do better. We must be better.
Reporting the objective truth and protecting basic human rights are not mutually exclusive. We are committed to serving the BU community and reject the idea that we, as an organization, cannot simultaneously call out blatant racism and injustice in our nation.
As an industry, journalism has historically ignored the voices of those who have been marginalized and The Daily Free Press is no exception. We recognize our shortfalls in representing people of color on campus.
A college newsroom should reflect the background and diversity of its student body. Ours does not. In a time when it is vital for Black people to be able to construct their own narratives to be shared, student newspapers should be an ally and an avenue that allows them to do so. When newsrooms lack diversity, perspectives and stories go unheard and the chasm between reader and journalist widens.
A college newspaper is often a journalist’s first step into the industry, so it is vital that we make a conscious effort in recruiting a diverse staff. We will implement workshops to further train our reporters on how to effectively and adequately cover race and protests while acknowledging white reporters’ privilege when reporting on such events.
The Daily Free Press will continue covering protests against police brutality in Boston and striving for responsible journalism that keeps the rights and safety of those we are covering in mind. But we know we can do better. We hope these events serve as a wake-up call to not only The Daily Free Press but news outlets everywhere to work on becoming more reflective of the society we claim to document so truthfully.
The Board of Directors is developing an actionable plan that we will release to the public on how we will better represent people of color in our newsroom. We aim to create partnerships with Black and minority student groups on campus to elevate the voices that are often silenced at Boston University. We make this commitment as student journalists, but also as members of a society that has perpetuated and turned a blind eye to centuries of violence against Black Americans.
We have joined UMOJA, BU Student Government and dozens of other organizations in supporting the fight for social justice on and off campus through raising money for the Black Visions Collective, Campaign Zero and NAACP Legal Defense Fund. As always, we also welcome feedback on how we can do better.
As journalists, we understand the importance of an informed citizen, but we call on our readers to go beyond informing themselves and begin acting on what they have learned. Use the wealth of information at your disposal to learn about race, police brutality and systemic injustice in order to critically assess your own biases. And most importantly, do not let this fade from consciousness.
Black lives matter.
—Back Bay Publishing Co. Board of Directors, the governing body of The Daily Free Press
You can contact the Board here.