- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hundreds of Smith College students gathered Wednesday to voice solidarity with University of Missouri protesters, only journalists were reportedly barred from the event unless sympathetic to the cause.

A sit-in from noon to midnight at the Northampton, Massachusetts, campus reportedly drew 300 to 500 students and Black Lives Matter activists who chanted and shared their own experiences with racism and discrimination. Similar to rules enforced at the University of Missouri and other campuses nationwide, media members were not allowed to cover the Smith College sit-in unless they openly supported the movement, MassLive reported.

Organizer Alyssa Mata-Flores said the no-press rule was in place because “media has historically painted radical black movements as violent and aggressive.”


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“We are asking that any journalists or press that cover our story participate and articulate their solidarity with black students and students of color,” she told MassLive. “By taking a neutral stance, journalists and media are being complacent in our fight.”

Smith organizers said journalists were welcome to cover the event “if they agreed to explicitly state they supported the movement in their articles,” MassLive reported.



Stacey Schmeidel, Smith College director of media relations, said the college supported the media ban.

“It’s a student event, and we respect their right to do that, although it poses problems for the traditional media,” she told MassLive, adding that the private college reserves the right to remove reporters.

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