Smith College: Only reporters who ‘support the movement’ allowed to cover solidarity rally for Mizzou

Smith College: Only reporters who ‘support the movement’ allowed to cover solidarity rally for Mizzou
Smith College Center. (Image: MassLive, Laura Newberry)

[Ed. – Does anything we say matter at this point?  There’s no common frame of reference anymore.]

In an effort to create a safe space free from potential insensitivity from the news media, activists at Smith College barred reporters from covering a sit-in Wednesday that drew 300 to 500 students.

The demonstration, organized in solidarity with students at the University of Missouri, was held from from noon to 12 a.m. Thursday in the Smith College Student Center.

The activists’ goal was to establish a place where students — prioritizing students of color and black students — could share their thoughts, feelings, poems and songs related to a rash of racially charged episodes this fall at Mizzou, as well as personal experiences of racism. …

But reporters who arrived at the sit-in were met with a clear message: Keep out.

Alyssa Mata-Flores, a 21-year-old Smith College senior and one of the sit-in’s organizers, explained that the rule was born from “the way that media has historically painted radical black movements as violent and aggressive.”

“We are asking that any journalists or press that cover our story participate and articulate their solidarity with black students and students of color,” she told MassLive in the Student Center Wednesday. “By taking a neutral stance, journalists and media are being complacent in our fight.”

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