The Daily Tar Heel recently published an opinion piece about university students studying abroad in Israel.
The author approached me and told me that his family had received threatening messages regarding the column, and requested that it be removed for his safety and that of his family.
Together with my management team, I thought it was important to meet the demand. But I would be remiss if I didn’t make certain things clear to our audience.
First, issuing written or verbal threats to a journalist or columnist — or, even worse, their families — because of the content they produced is unacceptable.
To disagree with the outcome of an individual’s work is one thing. But personally harassing people, especially those who were not directly involved in the publication of said work, is irresponsible and reprehensible.
The Daily Tar Heel proudly supports the work of its editors and reporters, and will happily continue to be a platform for them to report on important developments affecting university students and residents of the greater Chapel area. Hill and Orange County.
The views expressed via the Daily Tar Heel’s Opinion Desk are of course not those of the organization itself or its leadership. Opinions expressed in editorials are strictly those of the Daily Tar Heel editorial board and those expressed in columns are strictly those of the columnist who writes them.
The Opinion Desk is meant to be a platform for people whose views on the news can help give our audience insight into the world around them, especially when they share views that would have otherwise been neglected.
It is not for us to moderate anyone’s opinion. Interfering with the work of the Opinion Desk in this way would not only be unprofessional, but unethical.
The column in question has been removed to ensure the safety and well-being of its author, which The Daily Tar Heel will do whatever it takes to preserve.
We proudly support the work of our talented Opinion Writers, Editorial Board and Columnists, and are grateful for the exciting and challenging work they have done to improve our journal.
And again, to leave no room for interpretation:
The Daily Tar Heel will not tolerate any of its writers being individually targeted for the work they do.
To disagree with any aspect of the work we do is not only understandable but unavoidable. We welcome all feedback on our work, and I, along with each member of management and each editor, have individual emails through which you can communicate with us as you see fit.
But to personally threaten anyone who works here, regardless of their role, is an affront to this organization and a personal offense to me and the rest of us who are so grateful to call this organization home. This will not be tolerated.
I hope I was clear and that we can continue to bring you the news of the day. Engage the community in a stimulating discourse. Support our staff and our community as much as possible.
To print news. And raise hell.
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