Dear City on a Hill,
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the article in the music/arts section about Pete Seeger. I’d never heard of him, but his story makes me happy about our new leadership in Barack Obama (and overall a better country). I feel triumphant for our country in that we have been able to elect a black president, and that freedom of expression is as free as it’s ever been. The fact that this man was once blacklisted is shocking. It just makes me happy that he closed the inauguration with his music.
As a UCSC alumnus, I am saddened to see that the quality of CHP’s journalism has regressed considerably. I was taken aback by your feature article entitled “Gaza Conflict Demonstrates Campus Division,” which does not quote or even paraphrase the opinions or arguments of the demonstrators protesting in SUPPORT of Israel. It is an utterly one-sided article. To include interviews with all perspectives except theirs is bad journalism at best and propagandist at worst. As student media, you have a responsibility to give voice to ALL students — not just those your reporters happen to agree with.
My name is Marielle Basseri. I am co-president of the Santa Cruz Israel Action committee and would like to express my deep concern with CHP’s reporting on Wednesday’s demonstration.
First, you misjudged the number of people involved. There were far more than 30 people supporting Israel. Furthermore, reporting that “dozens” of people protested on the anti-Israel side suggests that side was the more populous. Why did you hazard a guess on the number of people supporting Israel but left the number of people opposing Israel to the reader’s imagination?
Most importantly, NO ONE from our side was interviewed in the article. Instead, your reporters exclusively interviewed the anti-Israel protesters and a person “in the middle.” How does this accurately represent what happened at the protest? How can you, in good faith, pretend to cover both sides of the issue, but actually only give voice to one side?
And finally, the Second Intifada — about which the anti-Israel protesters chanted favorably — is NOT a term “referring to the intensified violence between Israel and Palestine from 2000 to 2008” as you inaccurately reported. It refers to suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks against Israelis during those years. To miss that distinction is to miss the awful sight of UCSC students publicly advocating hate and terrorism. It also leaves readers wondering what exactly Mr. Oron meant when he was quoted as saying, “How can you be pro-peace and chant ‘Intifada, Intifada’?”
I ask City on a Hill Press to please release a statement correcting the article. I also hope CHP will improve the quality of their reporting and not continue to publish inaccurate, blatantly unbalanced news articles. I realize that CHP is a way for many students to learn the art of journalism; therefore I hope you take this opportunity to explain and teach the difference between shoddy reporting and journalism with integrity.
Many in the Jewish community are concerned about not having a representative perspective in your paper’s coverage of the Gaza Conflict Demonstration. There were quotes from the CJP and quotes from moderate perspectives but no quotes from the pro-Israel silent protesters. Consequently the pro-Israel community is feeling marginalized.
Are we in such a state of social shock on this campus that the only voices which receive coverage are pro-violence groups? One of the silent protest group’s main goals was simply to show that students have a right to express alternative views without being marginalized and that this can and should be conducted with respect.
In response, we are planning to hold a pro-Israel rally at the Plaza where we are allowed to make noise. We will be doing Israeli folk dancing and singing. I will be speaking on some of the effects Israel going green is having on American electric car development, and much more.