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BREAKING: State News Affiliates Defend ‘Activism’ Writing and ‘Our Stance’ Shouldn’t ‘Be Neutral'

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Author: Sergei Kelley

Affiliates of The State News are defending activism in reporting and how in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and ensuing unrest, the publication’s stance shouldn’t ‘be neutral.’

A reporter for the MSU campus publication, Edwin Jaramillo, stated in a June 7 Facebook post, it’s “been hard to distinguish between journalism and activism for me.” Further, he says the “purpose of journalism is to raise the voices of those who don’t have a voice.”

He claims his writing has come under scrutiny, but he didn’t take into account “where the critique was coming from.” Jaramillo claims it's coming from “a narrative consisting of nothing but a white-cis-identifying male.” Further cited is “one-sided history.”

The new Diversity representative for the publication similarly says The State News should “celebrate diverse groups…[and] be a platform, voice/megaphone for these groups[‘] messages.” Devin Andersen-Torrez took the position on June 9 and shared his thoughts on Twitter.

“I have been pretty vocal on everything going on...the fight against injustice and systematic racism,” he shares. Andersen-Torrez follows by discussing the difference between coverage and “opinions/support” and says, “I don’t believe that our stance as a newspaper on this subject should be neutral.”

He continues, “I want to help this media outlet stand with the communities experiencing this injustice and help take steps towards equity.”

Torrez concludes his post by affirming his peers and other staff who “mirror a lot of these beliefs” and want to “represent diverse ways that ensure truth and just coverage.”

The State News has been alleged before to have selective coverage and have blasted the Republican Party of dismissing civil rights and democracy. In a piece by the publication's editorial board, they cite the party as propping up “bigots, misogynists, racists and homophobes.”

Student tax dollars fund The State News. They are advertised as “Michigan State University’s Independent Voice.”

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