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  • March for LifeBy Katherine Rodriguez

    Journalistic integrity at the George Washington University campus took a nosedive last week when its paper of record, The Hatchet, blatantly downplayed pro-life youth participation in January's 2013 March for Life Rally in Washington, DC. 

    On January 25, hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists from all over the country convened on the National Mall to show their support for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision which struck down many state laws restricting abortion. 

    Young people, many of whom were college students, arrived in droves to attend the rally. The Washington Post reported that most attendees of the March " seemed to be teenagers and young adults." Christendom College in Front Royal, VA, for example, even cancelled classes so that  400 students could attend the March in Washington.

    And their numbers are growing in the pro-life movement. A recent Gallup poll showed that pro-choice Americans are at an all-time low of 41 percent, and among the 18 to 29 demographic, young people are more likely to be against abortion in any case.

    Yet the photo splashed across the front page of The Hatchet did not represent the youthful crowd at Friday's rally. 

    The Hatchet published an image of a group of smiling, young, female pro-abortion counter-protesters alongside a clearly cherry-picked image depicting the pro-life side as frowning, older female marchers with a priest in his clerical collar looming over them.

    The subtext is unmistakable.

    Rosemary Holt, the co-president of the pro-life organization at GWU, Colonials for Life, expressed outrage at The Hatchet's inaccurate representation of the March.:

    "The  GW Hatchet is not required to applaud the pro-life movement, but they should accurately represent events as they occurred," she wrote in an op-ed for the campus conservative publication, The GW Patriot.

    The photo spread published by The Hatchet not only portrayed the counter-protesters more positively, but made it seem as though they played a more substantial role in the March than they in fact did.

    "Hundreds of thousands of individuals marched against abortion Friday January 25th and only approximately 100 individuals counter-protested. This fact was not accurately reported in the  GW Hatchet article."

    This is not the only instance in the article in which The Hatchet played fast and loose with the facts. The Hatchet inaccurately reported that  "Colonials for Life draws attention with its weekly protests, which Holt leads, outside an on-campus abortion clinic"-grossly misrepresenting the mission and activities of the pro-life group and casting them in a controversial light. While such protests do occur on campus, they are led by the GW Catholics, a campus group entirely unaffiliated with Colonials for Life.

    In fact, the group strives to be as inclusive as possible, branding itself as "non-partisan" and "non-sectarian." According to Holt, Colonials for Life aims to take a pro-woman, pro-science approach to the issue of abortion in order to get secularists and atheists on board as well as other outside religious groups. 

    "It's not that we [Colonials For Life] don't want to be associated with the GW Catholics," Holt said. "That's not the direction we wanted to take with the organization."

    We have a moral obligation to expose media outlets which unfairly represent conservatives and the causes they support. The Hatchet's unbalanced coverage of the March For Life and the pro-life movement on campus is just one example.

    Media bias does not just fall into the territory of the liberal mainstream media; it starts in our college news outlets, where many of these university writers and editors are trained to think a certain way by the journalism professors that teach them.

    If these writers learn in college that it is okay to slant news articles, they then go on to work for national outlets and the cycle continues.

     Katherine Rodriguez is a Summer 2012 NJC alumnus and conservative activist at The George Washington University, where she is a junior.  She is also is an assistant producer for conservative radio show host Armstrong Williams, who broadcasts from 6-8pm on Sirius XM's The Power Channel 128.




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