Update: several more editors have signed on to this letter after publication.
We, the undersigned current and former staff editors of The Maroon, believe the photo of the young man apprehended on campus yesterday should not have been published. Editors were not consulted before the photo’s publication, and the decision to keep the photo up was made unilaterally by Maroon leadership despite mounting opposition from numerous members of staff. The photographer, undersigned, has asked several times for the photo to be taken down. We believe the photo compromises The Maroon’s commitment to ethical and responsible journalism.
Although we recognize that taking the photo down now cannot mitigate the harmful effects its publication has caused, we believe the photo should still be taken down as soon as possible before it spreads even further online.
The Maroon aims to provide the campus and the wider community a service by quickly publishing time-sensitive news. Yesterday, however, The Maroon did a lot of damage—it opened up a young person and his family to harmful exposure, at no benefit to anyone else. The photo does not serve the safety of the campus and community; it was published after the suspect was already in the custody of police officers. Furthermore, publishing the photo perpetuates a false, racist, and dangerous narrative about crimes in and around Hyde Park that undermines our goal of accurate journalism.
We think this incident should be treated as a learning moment for the newspaper, and our statement here is not intended to cover the numerous arguments why The Maroon shouldn’t have published the photo. Rather than making those arguments on behalf of our readers, we hope to encourage members of the community, via Letters to the Editor in The Maroon and public forums more broadly, to directly express their views.
Alex Ward, Former News Editor
Alexa Perlmutter, Associate Viewpoints Editor
Alexandra Nisenoff, Photo Editor
Anant Matai, Deputy Grey City Editor
Audrey Teo, Video Editor
Austin Christhilf, Podcast Editor
Brooke Nagler, Arts Editor and Photo Editor
Camille Kirsch, News Editor
Caroline Kubzansky, Grey City Editor and Deputy News Editor
Cole Martin, Viewpoints Editor
Deepti Sailappan, News Editor
Elaine Chen, News Editor
Feng Ye, Former News Editor and Photo Editor
Hunter Morgan, Social Media Editor
Jad Dahshan, Associate Arts Editor
Jason Lalljee, News Editor
Jeremy Lindenfeld, Photo Editor and Photographer
Katrina Lee, Chief Copy Editor
Lee Harris, News Editor
Matthew Herskowitz, Arts Editor
May Huang, Former Arts Editor
Meera Santhanam, Viewpoints Editor
Miles Burton, Podcast Editor and Deputy News Editor
Mohammed Bashier, Chief Copy Editor
Parker Mee, Podcast Editor
Patrick Lou, Chief Copy Editor
Peng-Peng Liu, Production Manager
Quinn Kane, Podcast Editor
Rhea Bhojwani, Sports Editor
Spencer Dembner, Fall 2018 News Editor
Tyrone Lomax, Former News Editor
Urvi Kumbhat, Former Viewpoints Editor
Zahra Nasser, Associate Viewpoints Editor
Zoe Bean, Deputy Arts Editor
Zoe Kaiser, Former Photo Editor