To our readers,

The Emory Wheel ran an article in our April 3 print edition about a pro-Palestine protest outside of Chabad at Emory University, which was hosting an event featuring an Israeli Defense Forces Reservist Commander. In the course of our reporting, we made several errors that conveyed an unsubstantiated depiction of the events of the protest, therefore contributing to tension on campus surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict. We apologize for the misconceptions our reporting perpetuated and would like to explain how we, as the Wheel’s new editors-in-chief, plan to approach future coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

In the headline of the article about the protest, we included the word “assaulted” to describe an allegation a Jewish student brought against a pro-Palestinian protestor. We did not include attribution or the words “allegedly” or “reportedly,” which was our error. While our reporters witnessed chanting and received video footage of an altercation over an Israeli flag, they did not witness the alleged assault, so the Wheel was unable to substantiate whether an assault had occurred and instead relied on interviews about the situation when writing the article. When we realized our error, we issued a correction and included quotation marks in the headline and the first paragraph of the article to clarify that the word “assault” was that of a source, not our own. However, we realize that the original headline was misleading and we apologize for any misinformation it perpetuated.

Further, we apologize for our error in suggesting that Emory Students for Justice in Palestine (ESJP) was the sole organizer of the event. Once we were made aware of this mistake, we corrected the piece to state that ESJP helped organize the event, which is based on screenshots the Wheel obtained during the reporting process that show ESJP members discussing matters related to the event, specifically coordinating attendees, in a general body GroupMe chat. We opted to not publish the screenshots to protect the identities of those involved.

We recognize that our corrections do not remedy the fact that the original article, including the headline in its unattributed form, has been circulating around campus in the print edition and on social media. We opted to not recall the print copies on campus or delete the Wheel’s Instagram post about the original article because doing so would bury our mistake, reduce readers’ access to other information in the newspaper and delete the comments the Emory community left under the post. We value fostering free speech and want to ensure the comments that hold us accountable for errors in the coverage are left public.

As student journalists, we have a responsibility to learn from these mistakes and continue reporting on the Emory community’s response to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Moving forward, we aim to approach this coverage in a way that impartially covers the diversity of perspectives on the conflict. The Wheel’s executive board has internally discussed the issues in this article and how they occurred, as well as how to prevent them in the future. 

In the interest of transparency, we’d like to inform the Emory community of our policies that are intended to eliminate bias in reporting: 

  • Every claim is backed up with evidence and attribution. Editors will closely consider the evidence we have for every claim in an article and will not publish unsubstantiated information unless a note is clearly added that the Wheel could not verify the information as fact. The errors in last week’s article resulted from a failure to fully uphold this standard and we will be more vigilant in the future.
  • Reporters ask individuals with a diversity of perspectives for comment, including while covering live events such as protests.
  • Articles go through four rounds of edits by different people to detect and prevent editorializing.
  • Reporters and editors who have “conflicts of interest” with somebody or something discussed in a piece recuse themselves from reporting or editing.
  • Articles are edited to reflect the Associated Press Stylebook, whose guidelines on the Israel-Palestine conflict can be found here.
  • We are writing a guide for Israel-Palestine coverage that we will distribute to all editors, who will then share it with contributors as needed. The guide will include information on sources to contact, unbiased language to use, strategies to fact check all related claims, etc.
  • We are creating a coverage tracker for all articles related to the Israel-Palestine conflict to keep track of trends in our coverage and ensure both sides are represented equally on a broad scale beyond individual articles. We will go over this tracker each week with our executive board and share any trends, concerns, etc. with the rest of the editors.

If you would like to improve our coverage, inform us of inconsistencies in our reporting, ask questions or simply provide feedback, please email Members of the Emory community are also welcome to submit Letters to the Editor through this form.


Madi Olivier and Sophia Peyser, Editors-in-Chief

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Madi Olivier is from Highland Village, Texas, and is majoring in psychology and minoring in rhetoric, writing and information design. Outside of the Wheel, she is involved in psychology research and works for the Trevor Project. In her free time, you can find her trying not to fall while bouldering and watching Criminal Minds with her cat.

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Sophia Peyser (25C) is an environmental science and english + creative writing major from New York City. In addition to managing the Opinion and Editorial Board sections of the Wheel, she works as an intern at Science for Georgia and a radio DJ at WMRE. In her free time, she loves thrifting in remote corners of Atlanta and drinking lavender lattes at Victory Calamity + Coffee.