Published May 3, 2017
American University kicked several reporters off its campus Tuesday while they covered a protest there. University officials asked Steve Burns from WMAL radio and Tom Fitzgerald from Fox 5 to leave. Brakkton Booker, a reporter for WAMU, was asked to leave as well. WAMU is a public radio station owned by American University.
WAMU editorial director Alicia Montgomery says Booker is an NPR reporter working with them via an exchange program. He was covering the protests in this capacity when a university official asked him and other reporters to leave the university premises.
“We handled this story as we would a story on that happened on a similar campus in the area because it’s of interest to our audience,” Montgomery says. “There was a miscommunication between our reporter and the university public relations team about what was permissible and what was not permissible. And so, our reporter covered the story and was eventually escorted from the campus.”
Students emerging from a “safe space conversation” about the incident were supposed to meet and talk with reporters, including Booker. When the students began to march, Booker tried to cover that protest under the assumption he was following the guidelines he’d been given by the university…read more here.