When students plan a walk-out on a guest lecturer, The Beacon reports on it (“Students walk out of ambassador’s lecture”). A natural response to a hot topic. But rather than reporting in an objective, informative manner, The Beacon chose to publish a piece that is one-sided and inaccurate.
The author of the article chose to interview students who participated in the walk-out and quote those who painted a negative picture. If only the students of Students for Justice in Palestine would have stayed in the lecture and listened to what the ambassador had to say instead of yelling slanderous comments, then maybe the article would have at least come off as less biased.
Unlike what the article states, the lecture was about Ambassador Danny Danon’s experience in the UN and as an FIU alumni. When speaking of the UN, Ambassador Danon pushed for open dialogue and spoke of the consequences of what happens when dialogue is non-existent. As the article states, the walk-out was planned before the event, only proving the frustrations expressed by Ambassador Danon.
The unwillingness to listen to competing viewpoints and narratives makes dialogue all that harder to achieve.
If the students who participated in the walk-out wanted to question the ambassador’s position, then they should have stayed until the Q&A session where the ambassador would have addressed their concerns.
Moreover, a little research would have demonstrated that statements taken as fact by those interviewed are inaccurate and false.
A basic understanding of the conflict shows that in fact Hamas, a labeled terrorist organization by the US State Department, has had control of the Gaza Strip since 2007 and since launched thousands of rockets at Israel. Further research would show that cement used by Hamas to build underground terror tunnels into Israel was designated by Israel and various NGOs to rebuild the Gaza Strip, improve infrastructure, build schools, hospitals and homes.
The article, however, suggests no further research is necessary.
The disappointment I feel as a student who relies on The Beacon for accurate information about school events is beyond words. I hope that future reporting is done with a little more journalistic integrity. For students who participated in the walk-out, an open mind and dialogue goes further than a simple refusal to hear opposing viewpoints.
Originally published in FIUSM.