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New York Times hires reporter from 2019 scandal

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New York Times building

Former editor of The Daily Northwestern, who received backlash for his reporting of protests on campus, has been hired as a staff reporter for the New York Times.

The NYT announced Monday that Troy Closson, who was a member of NYT‘s 2020 fellowship program, had been promoted to staff and will cover criminal justice as a full-time reporter.

Closson graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2020, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student-run Daily Northwestern.

The Daily Northwestern received national attention in 2019 for an editorial apologizing to student protestors for publishing images of activists on campus.

The activists were protesting former attorney general Jeff Sessions’s visit to campus.

Daily Northwestern reporters tweeted images of students attending the disruptive protests and later used a campus directory to call some of those demonstrators for interviews.

The editors apologized to the protestors who felt harmed by the paper’s coverage of the demonstrations and took down the photos. The editors admitted that its reporters had committed an “invasion of privacy” by contacting the protesters for comment and said that the paper’s staff had since been educated as to “the correct way to reach out to students for stories.”

“We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night,” The Daily’s editorial board wrote. “Some protesters found photos posted to reporters’ Twitter accounts retraumatizing and invasive. Those photos have since been taken down.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported that days after the incident, a Free Beacon reporter attempted to interview Closson about his involvement in the scandal. Closson avoided the press by allegedly “hiding in his office.” However, the Free Beacon reporter spotted Closson inside the paper’s office several times throughout the day.

The Daily Northwestern scandal received national attention from professional journalists across around the country.

Dozens of professional journalists argued that The Daily’s apology itself was the true mistake.

“There’s a lot to comment on in this Daily Northwestern editorial,” Chicago Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt tweeted. “But apologizing for contacting people to ask if they’re willing to be interviewed? Regretting that you photographed protesters protesting in public?”

“I don’t doubt the sincerity of these student journalists,” Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce tweeted. “But I worry that if journalists keep ceding ground on when it is acceptable to do basic reporting, we eventually play into the hands of powerful interests who would love to criminalize journalism.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Kyle Rittenhouse Found ‘Not Guilty’ On All Counts

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Rittenhouse

After three and a half days of deliberation, the jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts. “Jurors in the polarizing case said they had voted to acquit Rittenhouse, 18, of homicide, attempted homicide and other charges related to the August 2020 shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin” reports The Washington Post.

Rittenhouse testified during the trial during which he  became so emotional he was unable to speak in between sobs as he attempted to describe the shootings. The judge called a brief recess for Rittenhouse to regain composure.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rittenhouse said on the stand. “I defended myself.”

National Review reports “As the verdict was announced, Rittenhouse, overwhelmed with emotion, burst into tears and dropped to the ground, struggling to breathe. After collecting himself, he embraced the defense counsel who represented him throughout the trial.”

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time. Rittenhouse testified that he fired in self-defense and pleaded not guilty to all counts.

National Review reports:

“Rittenhouse was arrested on August 26, 2020, after shooting three people during the riots that followed the police killing of Jacob Blake, a black man who was brandishing a knife and in the process of violating a restraining order when police arrived on scene.

He was initially indicted on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide, failure to comply with an emergency order from a local government, and possession of a dangerous weapon.”

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