Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Israel-Palestine: It’s a matter of journalistic integrity

As a member of the editing staff of the Carletonian, I am deeply unsettled by our one-sided coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Since the last editors’ meeting (Oct. 25), I have fallen asleep and woken up nauseous every day. In light of the last Carletonian issue, I have come to realize why no one has said anything about Palestinians, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) or rising Islamophobia: the Carletonian has sent a hostile message to such voices through its biased reporting.


I am sick. As many commentators have said, the Carletonian has been presenting this issue as if only one side exists. This goes against everything that good journalists strive for. I know, of course, that we are just a student newspaper. But it is because of my experience with this paper that I love journalism. In the past few weeks, however, I have also realized that journalism can be a horrific weapon of injustice when it chooses to be.


Journalism must be objective, but what I have come to realize is that the journalist constantly lurks between the lines, choosing to share only pieces of what’s been said or omitting things entirely. We saw this in The New Yorker’s piece on stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj, who made a several-minute video in response with proof from his own testimony. The piece painted an image of Minhaj using his Muslim identity to make light of events that never happened. Yet his full testimony reveals that such events had occurred and that he’d altered the setting minorly for comedic effect.


I bring this up here because journalism can be wrong. Headlines are oftentimes misleading and personal biases creep into the subtext more often than not. Journalism, however, is also the method of truth. It is what lets people know what’s really happening. This is why the Israeli government is targeting Palestinian journalists and Al-Jazeera: they don’t want you to know the truth.


And we at the miniscule Carletonian are partaking. We have not been publishing the whole story, to put it simply. Of course, it’s valuable to share the perspectives we already have, but when that is the only perspective we have published, it sends a message. At our heart, the Carletonian is a community newspaper. So, in the last few weeks, we have sent a message to the Palestinian, Muslim and  Middle Eastern people of our community. They don’t matter. Not when Islamophobia is on the rise. Not when their people are being killed with the support of the U.S. government and with the support of some of their fellow community members. We have been publishing as if they aren’t a part of this community and with little regard for journalistic and personal integrity.


It is heartbreaking to me to realize that something I have loved is doing this to my own community and to realize that people I was in community with, not just in the Carletonian, do not care. It has been people from home whom I considered friends, people I had looked up to. For myself and other members of my community, I want to acknowledge how difficult it is to sit in a room of opinions that directly affect you. The inability to discuss history and global tragedies with nuance is dangerous and censorship in the media is even more so. Parts of the Carleton community should not need to feel that their grief must be expressed in vigilance. No one should fear for their safety in the midst of sorrow. It’s a lot to carry on top of everything else that accompanies being at Carleton and being human.


Regardless of where anyone stands on any one issue, it is absolutely necessary to report without bias — especially on a campus that claims to celebrate differences. This is in no way to insinuate anything about anyone in particular, but I feel that as a whole, we have done our community wrong by not covering both sides. I am sharing my disappointment and hurt as a member of the publication and as an Iranian. I wrote an anonymous article criticizing the lack of coverage on Mahsa Amini’s death last fall. I claim it freely now. It will be almost exactly a year since that article was published and a year since then that I wrote my personal essay about the utter loneliness that accompanies being Middle Eastern. It’s a recurring cycle at this point, so I might as well write this again. I refuse to forget Mahsa Amini; I refuse to forget Palestine.

View Comments (3)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cecilia Samadani
Cecilia Samadani, Features Editor
I'm an English major with interests in Creative Writing and Middle East Studies minors. I love all things related to art whether that be writing, drawing, music or dance, and am an avid cat person. Cecilia '26 (she/her) was previously a Staff Writer.

Comments (3)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    Shosh DworskyDec 17, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    Dear Cecilia,
    I just read this article of yours, and then went back to read what you wrote anonymously last year. Then I googled Mahsa Amini because I confess I did not know her name. Thank you for writing about her twice now, and for raising the consciousness of the Carletonian readership.
    Rabbi Shosh Dworsky
    Associate Chaplain for Jewish and Interfaith Life
    Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges

  • E

    esNov 9, 2023 at 10:46 am

    Many Carleton courses cover the histories of groups of oppressors and oppressed. There are many examples where this distinction is extremely clear-cut such as American chattel slavery or South African apartheid.

    I fear however that far too many current Carleton students are unable to see situations where this common historical dichotomy can not be perfectly applied and have thus chosen a “team” and a stance based on who they or their friends deem is the more oppressed group.

    Everyone in this conflict has been recently and horribly oppressed. Over half a million jews left their homes in the Arab states surrounding Israel over the last century. Hundreds of thousands more Israelis fled pogroms and antisemitism in Europe. These people were all displaced and ethnically cleansed.

    There are no calls for a “right to return” for Libyan or Iranian Israelis and it’s obvious that no Arab state would entertain this idea even for a second.

    None of these facts give justification for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the endless bombings of civilians in Gaza, or of the taking of occupied land. These are atrocities and I’m glad Carleton students are advocating for people who are undeniably being horribly victimized.

    I do hope that some nuance is restored in this conversation. There is a reason why even very liberal jews who have been fighting for years against the right-wing Israeli government are made uncomfortable by chants such as “from the river to the sea” or justifications for Hamas’s actions.

    We need to listen to each other without calling each other terrorist sympathizers or supporters of genocide. Once a side has been picked our brain shuts off. The vast majority of Carls are kind empathetic people who think they are doing the right thing even if they are misguided.
    Treat them well.

    • S

      Shosh DworskyDec 17, 2023 at 9:01 pm

      Dear ES,
      I just read your comment, and appreciate your call for “nuance.” I’d be happy to be in conversation with you, and would honor your choice to remain anonymous.
      Rabbi Shosh Dworsky
      Associate Chaplain for Jewish and Interfaith Life
      Carleotn and St. Olaf Colleges.