Note: Nick Anderson is a Washington Post staff writer who covers higher education.
The Eagle’s story has landed.
On Thursday, the American University student newspaper The Eagle published an article about an assistant anthropology professor named Adrienne Pine who breast-fed her sick baby while lecturing to her “Sex, Gender and Culture” class --- and the debate that arose afterward on and off campus.
The Post had covered the issue Tuesday online and in its Wednesday print editions. Inside Higher Ed, a news Web site, had covered the matter Monday, and Pine herself had written about it on the Web site Counterpunch on Sept. 5.
But The Eagle, which began reporting on Pine soon after she breast-fed her baby in the Aug. 28 class, had held off.
Zach C. Cohen, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, wrote in an editor’s note: “We could not make the call whether or not to publish until we had all the facts.”
In her essay, Pine sharply criticized Eagle journalists who inquired about her breastfeeding in class. Pine wrote that she felt compelled to step forward to frame the story herself rather than wait for a newspaper account to emerge. At one point, Pine wrote, she received an e-mail from an editor at the student paper “who addressed me as a woman, rather than by any of my professional titles; apparently my breasts got in the way of her letter-writing.”
AU officials later objected to how Pine characterized the student journalists. They also objected to her publishing personal contact information for the students in her essay (which was subsequently removed).
The Eagle story notes: “Pine emailed individual apologies Wednesday night to the reporter and editors involved for publishing their names and contact information online, as well as the tone of her essay.”
Pine has declined requests this week for comment.