The Berkeley Beacon responds to ECSU poster allegations

On Thursday, a member of the Emerson College Student Union printed 30 black posters alleging that The Berkeley Beacon erased an article from 2015 protesting tuition hikes and advocating for a student union. The posters were first discovered by Beacon staff in the Iwasaki Library. 

This allegation is completely false. The author did not check The Beacon’s website or archives to find the article in question. Instead, the designer of the poster, junior Michael Rocco, who requested that he be named as the sole creator of the posters, navigated the Student Government Association’s website where he says he first encountered the tuition freeze piece on an executive blog post. 

Rocco said the SGA post has since been deleted, and he claims that The Beacon’s archived website is not available on Google. The Beacon’s archives are available via a link at the bottom of our current website.

In the course of our transition to a new website over the past 19 months, articles have either resided on our old website or have been re-uploaded on our present website. The article in question has always been available either on our old or our new website. The article was added to the new website in August 2019.  

The Beacon would also like to respond to a written statement from Rocco, and add that the Emerson administration does not have any say in the content that is published on The Beacon’s website, nor do they have any power to remove content from the website. Additionally, The Beacon does not remove articles from our website with any malicious intent or ulterior motives, as it goes against The Beacon’s ethical code. 

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As for Rocco’s assertion that the administration has influence over the SGA website, we’d like to direct him to Executive President Raz Moayed. 

Sincerely, 

Editor-in-Chief Chris Van Buskirk
Managing Editor Abigail Hadfield
Managing Editor Kyle Bray
Managing Editor Dylan Rossiter 

Here is Michael Rocco’s full response:

I deeply apologize for any misinformation in my recent poster. I, Michael Rocco E01631234, printed 30 black posters with information about an old Beacon article and put them around campus yesterday. I first discovered the Tuition Freeze beacon article in a response on the SGA Executive Blog last semester. It was the first post on the Executive Blog at the time, though the blog post has since been deleted (or perhaps archived, as we may find out). Unfortunately, SGA hasn’t maintained “Internet Archive” as well as the Beacon has, and I can’t share the original text with you. The original link to the Beacon article on that SGA post was broken. As the Beacon old website archive isn’t on Google, and articles before and after that Tuition Freeze article were on the correct website, we made an assumption. You know what they say about assumptions. 

The truth is, Emerson’s Administration wants this article to go away and they did everything in their power to make it invisible, including erasing (or archiving) the SGA response to the Tuition Freeze article. I hope and wish that as I continue to put these posters up, everyone remembers that the Beacon didn’t erase the article, but it instead was just buried in an outdated website not indexed on Google.