Reporters from Howard University’s student newspaper claim they’re being censored as they attempt to share objective updates on students’ protests and living arrangements. On Tuesday (Nov. 2), The Hilltop released an official statement detailing times in which their coverage of the viral issue was censored.
According to the statement, staff writers were asked to take down their coverage of the second night of protests because of “minor edits” and were later instructed to send all stories to the advisor before publishing.
The Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Director of Residence Life Shelton Higgins and Walter Servance, the Coordinator of Housing Operations have also declined to provide commentary on students’ day-long demonstration against the unsanitary dorm conditions.
For the past weeks, over 100 students have been camping in tents outside the Blackburn Center in an effort to stand up against the poor housing conditions that reportedly include rodents, roaches, and mold.
Following complaints, the Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Cynthia Evers conducted a meeting between student leadership and administration on Oct. 26 and asked that managing editor Jeresa Anderson and Jada Orr, the digital media editor, attend and cover the session. The demand, however, included a request that the newspaper’s editor in chief stayed away from coverage.
“The Hilltop will continue to fight for the freedom of the press,” the statement read. “We know that our rights have been infringed upon, and we are currently being advised by the Student Press Law Center. Our one objective is rooted in our ability to accurately and unbiasedly report the facts.”
Read the full statement below.