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New York Times hires reporter from 2019 scandal

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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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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’

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Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.

The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.

“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.

Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.

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