With your support we continue to ensure media accuracy

Campus Journalism Fueling the Next Generation of Anti-Israel Media

I can still remember the excitement, nervousness and curiosity in covering my first story as a Daily (Northwestern University’s longstanding campus newspaper) reporter and Medill student in the early 2000s. Notebook and pens in hand,…

Reading time: 6 minutes

I can still remember the excitement, nervousness and curiosity in covering my first story as a Daily (Northwestern University’s longstanding campus newspaper) reporter and Medill student in the early 2000s. Notebook and pens in hand, I recounted what had been drilled in my head: make sure to talk to all sides, get balanced quotes from both parties and that my job was to report as an objective observer – to report the facts.

This lesson was incredibly important when later in my college career I was tasked with covering student reactions to a white supremacist who spoke on public property in front of a Northwestern building. Despite this highly controversial event, The Daily reported the facts objectively, and ultimately it became a learning moment for the university around race. Fast forward 20+ years, I wish I could say the same standards of objectivity and balanced reporting existed within The Daily, as well as in the majority of mainstream media.

Media bias is not a new phenomenon, especially on topics such as politics and Israel. Yet the current climate in the aftermath of the October 7 atrocities feels intensified as Israel and Jews face a massive and unfathomable PR war. It’s hard not to open a newspaper or turn on the TV or pull up the latest social media post without a story that only tells one side. It seems that journalists have lost their way, allowing their stories and publications to become platforms for hate and fuel terrorists’ agendas. This hate extends beyond Jews – but is also anti-American and anti-democratic with messages of “death to America” and “the West is next,”– yet these frightening sentiments are rarely reported.

Especially in a world of increased misinformation and hatred, journalists have an increased obligation to draw on foundational elements of their “craft” – leading with objectivity, investigating, scrutinizing, questioning, sourcing, listening, learning, and ultimately speaking truth to power to separate fact from fiction.

Through the lens of a former Daily editor and Medill alum, I recently wrote a Letter to the Editor (LTE) to The Daily titled “Stop Biased Reporting and Providing a Platform for Terrorism,” calling out bias specific to The Daily’s hourly coverage of the now somewhat disbanded encampments in the center of Northwestern’s campus. After an immediate response requesting I turn my letter into an op-ed, followed by two days of collaborative editing and meeting deadlines, I received a note in the final hour declining publication because “the assertions in the LTE are factually incorrect and misrepresent the Daily’s work,” and with no response to my offer to discuss – ultimately further demonstrating The Daily’s bias and one-sidedness. Since October 2023, the Daily has declined several LTEs with a pro-Israel perspective.

When The Daily’s reporting and content reads as if reported from a protester and not a reporter, when in four days of hourly coverage there was one story representing the perspective of Jewish students, it violates a sense of safety and belonging for Jewish students/faculty on campus, further fueling the pro-Hamas propaganda.

In some ways I don’t fault The Daily – I fault Northwestern for employing professors like Steven Thrasher who has repeatedly reiterated the message to Medill students that “our work is not about objectivity,” Thrasher most recently stating this during the encampment as a faculty organizer. The hypocrisy and irony that this is the message coming from one of the top journalism schools in the world is pretty high. It degrades the integrity of journalism and fuels the pervasive bias we see today, and will unfortunately likely see from the next generation of journalists if this continues.

Parents of current Medill students and Medill alumni have repeatedly expressed concerns to Medill and The Daily, asking what discussions, guidance and education student journalists are provided on these complex topics of navigating bias, separating personal beliefs from reporting and sourcing information with facts, with little more than lip service as a response, as evidenced by the most recent Daily coverage. And whether The Daily is student-led or not, it’s a direct reflection of the school and its training. Northwestern students and alumni are even potentially exploring alternative campus news publications given the one-sided path The Daily has chosen.

If the media choose not to scrutinize what they are presenting as truth, they too have fallen prey to propaganda and brainwashing, just as much as the Columbia students crying for humanitarian aid because they can’t access their campus meal plan while they protest in the encampment.

Why does this ultimately matter? Because the media have given voice to damaging propaganda, which has a far-reaching impact, as we have seen on college campuses and in turn K-12 institutions.

I offer a few simple requests to all journalists to recalibrate balance in reporting the news, objectively:

  • Do your research/ homework about what you are reporting and ensure you fully understand the context
  • Learn all the facts about the Middle East and Israel, past and present; leverage the plethora of information from reputable sources
  • Be mindful of the subtleties of choosing images and quotes that can have huge ramifications
  • Re-read and edit content that is subject to misinterpretation or pushes an agenda


Furthermore, to amplify our message so that the media are left with no questions as we fight a “war on words,” we must speak up with one, cohesive voice – our story of who we are, what we stand for, and what the factual story of Israel is, past and present.

It was my dream to go to Medill to study journalism; it was known to be the best and I had a wonderful experience. I took incredible pride in my Medill experience and writing at The Daily that recently, when I worked with an artist to create a custom piece of art that represented mine and my husband’s interests, while he chose old maps he had drawn as a child, I chose an extra copy of The Daily I had from my stockpile of clips – which is now hanging in my living room. It’s unfortunate that what I once considered the best has become unrecognizable.

Please, for the sake of Israel, the United States, and by extension, the Western world, and Jews everywhere, I ask journalists to tell the full story and remind your fellow colleagues of their journalistic duty and ethical obligation that they signed up for – to be objective. Before it’s too late.

Rebecca Orbach Glick is a former editor of The Daily Northwestern and Medill alum. She holds a BS in Journalism and Political Science from Northwestern University and MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from New York University. Currently, she lives in the Chicago area and has worked in public relations, management consulting and leadership coaching for the last 20+ years. She most recently founded NefeshLiving, a health coaching business.

Liked this article? Follow HonestReporting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see even more posts and videos debunking news bias and smears, as well as other content explaining what’s really going on in Israel and the region.

Featured image: Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu via Getty Images

Red Alert
Send us your tips
By clicking the submit button, I grant permission for changes to and editing of the text, links or other information I have provided. I recognize that I have no copyright claims related to the information I have provided.
Skip to content