61°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media incorrectly reports regarding Israel-Palestine conflict

In an article published on Nov. 13, The Mass Media made a statement regarding the Israeli and Palestinian conflict that needs to be clarified and corrected. In the article titled “Students for Justice in Palestine hold memorial for martyrs of Gaza,” it was written that “the UMass Boston chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine hosted a memorial to honor the over 11,000—as of Nov. 10—innocent civilians who died at the hand of the Israeli occupation since the attack on the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7.” 

While Israel did attack the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, (1) it was in retaliation to an attack on Israel that took place earlier that same day by the Palestinian group Hamas. Although Hamas’ attack is mentioned in the next paragraph, the sentence in question is vague and can easily be interpreted as Israel attacking Palestine first—unprovoked—feeding into the notion that this conflict is one-dimensional. This was unintentional; nonetheless, we take full ownership for this error and its impact. We wish to clear any confusion or misinformation: The Palestinian group Hamas attacked Israel first on Oct. 7. 

In addition to this correction, we would like to use this space to respond to a “Letter to the Editor” that was sent to us on Nov. 16 by various faculty members addressing our coverage of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. In short, they believe The Mass Media has been one-sided in its coverage and that this has led to an antisemitic environment where the free exchange of ideas on campus is limited. Anyone interested in reading the full letter can do so in this week’s publication. 

We would like to start by saying we agree with the feedback that our coverage of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict has been one-sided. We take this feedback seriously and appreciate the respectful way the faculty in question conveyed their message. We wish to do the same in our response. The process of The Mass Media’s submission and publication process holds many of the explanations—not excuses—to these complaints, so we will address them here. 

As journalists, it is important to recognize that The Mass Media is not a global or even regional newspaper; it is a university paper. Therefore, we do our best to keep our audience in mind and cover News stories related to our campus and community. As communities are affected by regional and global happenings, these broader stories are covered from—and for—the lens of a UMass Boston student. It is no secret that the campus has a large presence of support for Palestinian students and Palestine in general, so we do prioritize covering these student-led memorials and rallies. 

With that being said, these same types of events are not being organized from an Israeli or Jewish perspective by students—possibly because many of these people currently feel unsafe or unwelcome, which was stated in the faculty letter. We want to make it clear that we do not support antisemitism or Israeli-hate in any way, and we apologize if anyone from these communities has felt unwelcome or unsafe due to our publication. 

Our goal—first, foremost and always—is to represent the student body and its many beautiful backgrounds and voices. If anyone from the Israeli or Jewish community would like to speak with us about this, we welcome it, encourage it and wish you to know that you are safe amongst The Mass Media. We would love to cover any of your organizations, events or voices. We are also committed to writing unbiased News stories and will think deeply about how the framing of our articles affects the sanctity of very nuanced subjects. 

While this speaks to the News section, we would like to touch on the Opinions section and the rights of those writers as well. The Mass Media as an entity will never take one stance on this conflict, but our Opinion writers have every right to do so. We hold the expectation that they must be well-researched critical thinkers in order to form opinions with merit, and we believe they are: We cannot and will not ask them to fabricate opinions they do not believe. That being said, we do understand they share similar perspectives on the conflict, namely empathizing more-so with Palestine, albeit coming from very different backgrounds. 

We want to make it clear that we welcome students to submit articles that push back against our own staff and offer differing views in order to represent a fuller picture in the paper. In fact, we encourage it, but we have not yet received these submissions. We want our Opinions section to be just as nuanced and diverse as the student-body itself, but that has to come from the students—we cannot fake that if people are not submitting that. So, this is our open call for students to reach out if they have an opinion or perspective on this conflict that they would like represented in the paper. It would be our honor to represent you. 

Additionally, we are in contact with the faculty who sent this letter and are committed to meeting with them in-person to further this conversation and secure a freer environment for all. This response is only in regards to their letter sent to The Mass Media, and if our response shifts after speaking with them in-person, The Mass Media will be sure to update its response. 

In closing, The Mass Media will not stand for Israeli or Jewish hate on this campus or anywhere. We recognize that our coverage of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict has not been representative of the entire UMass Boston community, we apologize for this, and we welcome students who would like to voice their side in this conflict. The Mass Media is committed to proving this through our actions, and we are prepared for an on-going discussion related to this going forward. We support Palestinian students, and we support Israeli and Jewish students. 

If anyone feels unsafe or unwelcome on campus, please reach out to a trusted resource—whether that be the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX, a professor or a trusted community. Furthermore, if you feel comfortable, please reach out and share your experience; we would like to be a resource for you too. You can reach us at our email, [email protected], or our office located in Room 3400 on the third floor of the Campus Center.

Thank you to the faculty who brought this to our attention, and we truly look forward to meeting with you soon. 

  1. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/7/what-happened-in-israel-a-breakdown-of-how-the-hamas-attack-unfolded 

 

About the Contributors
Katrina Sanville, Editor-In-Chief
Skylar Bowman, Managing Editor