The Daily Californian did not intentionally kill op-ed on academic boycott of Israel

On Feb. 7, an article by New York University professors Andrew Ross and John King appeared on news website Mondoweiss stating that The Daily Californian had solicited and then later killed an op-ed pertaining to the academic boycott of Israel.

The piece states that the Daily Cal’s “upper management team” asked for “radical alterations” to the op-ed because of libel concerns. This is untrue.

The Daily Cal is committed to representing a range of viewpoints in our opinion section. That said, however, we will not publish op-eds that speculate on individuals’ intent or complicity in certain events. All claims published in op-eds must be substantiated by fact. Because the Daily Cal is an independent, student-run organization, our bar for what could be construed as libel is likely higher than it is for larger professional newspapers in the Bay Area and other regions of the country.

Our opinion team is trained to work with writers to reframe prose without distorting opinions. Opinion editors at the Daily Cal set deadlines for op-eds that are well after the op-ed is initially solicited and written, and writers are given time to work with editors to make necessary edits. The Daily Cal’s opinion editors felt uncomfortable publishing the version of the op-ed shared with them by professors Ross and King because of specific allegations it made against UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ.

We welcome professors Ross and King to submit a letter to the editor to our paper. And we will continue to solicit op-eds on this issue.

Harini Shyamsundar is the editor in chief and president. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hshyamsundar.

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