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Defending rigorous and truthful reporting

A response to the POCC and The Princeton Tory’s Joint Statement on Abigail Shrier Event

<h5>A box of papers outside of the Student Publication Center at 48 University Place.</h5>
<h6>Zachary Shevin / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
A box of papers outside of the Student Publication Center at 48 University Place.
Zachary Shevin / The Daily Princetonian

We, the leadership of The Daily Princetonian, are disappointed in the Princeton Open Campus Coalition (POCC) and The Princeton Tory’s decision not to facilitate access to this evening’s event for ‘Prince’ reporters.

At 5:45 p.m. tonight, the POCC and the Tory will be hosting a talk with Abigail Shrier, a Wall Street Journal columnist and author of “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” a book denounced by many as transphobic. As a form of protest, the Princeton Pride Alliance is hosting a simultaneous teach-in in collaboration with the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

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With heavy campus attention on the POCC and Tory’s event, reporters at the ‘Prince’ have requested access. Our recent conversations with the event’s organizers were not aimed at gaining in-person access, since we respect the University’s COVID-19 policies. Instead, we had requested Zoom access for two of our reporters to ensure our coverage would be comprehensive. We had hoped the POCC and The Tory — in the spirit of open dialogue and free speech — would work to accommodate the ‘Prince.’

In their joint statement, POCC and Tory leaders write of the “unfortunate” inability of all interested students to attend the event. Coverage of the event in the ‘Prince’ would help to allow those students, and the community at large, to engage.

POCC and Tory leaders also write that “In emails to the Publisher of The Tory, ‘Prince’ reporters have also suggested that the ‘accuracy and fairness’ of their work will be conditioned upon our willingness to accept their demand that we either violate our first-come-first-serve policy or the University’s COVID guidelines by letting them attend.”

First and foremost, the ‘Prince’ is dedicated to transparent, accurate, and empathetic reporting. Fairness is never conditioned upon cooperation. Whether or not the POCC and Tory reverse their decision, we will — as we do with all of our reporting — take measures to ensure the story is as fully and truthfully covered as possible and upholds high journalistic standards. Despite their statement’s characterizations, our past coverage of the POCC has also upheld these standards.

We are disappointed with the POCC and Tory’s decision here. Yet, their joint statement makes clear that a portion of our community does not trust the ‘Prince.’ As a publication committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, we are committed to building that trust within the bounds of decency and accuracy. We encourage every student: Apply to the ‘Prince’, use our tip line, submit guest opinion contributions.

Trust from readers is essential for any professional publication. We will continue to build it through reliable, timely, and truthful news and commentary — including in our coverage of the POCC and the Tory.

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Emma Treadway is the Editor-in-Chief of the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at eic@dailyprincetonian.com.

Harsimran Makkad, AG McGee, and Zachary Shevin are Managing Editors at the ‘Prince.’ They can be reached at managingeditor@dailyprincetonian.com.

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