“Something we thought about a lot this week is how challenging it is to be student journalists who are reporting about other students,” Troy Closson, the Daily’s editor in chief and a senior at the Medill School, told The Washington Post. “We’re thinking about what our role looks like specifically as student journalists who have to cover this, but at the same time we have to go to class with those students tomorrow.”

Well, by all means abandon the standards of journalism to remain in the good graces of your peers! If you don’t have the moxie to print the facts, then don’t become an editor, I have little sympathy for Closson’s view, though I can understand that he felt shell-shocked by the reaction, which extended to major newspapers throughout the country.  More from the Post:

The backlash to the editorial was swift. It started with professional journalists blasting the paper on Twitter, questioning the student reporters’ decisions to shield protesters in their coverage.

“This is called reporting,” wrote Washington Post reporter Amy Brittain on Twitter. “Why are you apologizing for it? Mind-boggling to read this editorial from student journalists who attend one of the top schools for journalism in the country.”

Other reporters raised concerns about the public’s understanding of how journalists work, and how allowing people to influence information-gathering could damage their ability to report.

“I don’t doubt the sincerity of these student journalists,” tweeted Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce. “But I worry that if journalists keep ceding ground on when it is acceptable to do basic reporting, we eventually play into the hands of powerful interests who would love to criminalize journalism.”

Indeed!