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January 6, 2014 3:34 pm

Modern Language Association Denies JNS Press Credential for Convention

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A Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) protest against Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. The Modern Language Association (MLA) rejected a application for a press credential to cover its Jan. 9-12 annual convention in Chicago.

MLA’s convention includes a roundtable discussion titled “Academic Boycotts: A Conversation about Israel and Palestine,” which will feature supporters but no opponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Mark Aurigemma, a communications professional representing MLA, wrote in an email to the reporter who applied that the convention “reserves media credentials for outlets and journalists that are substantively focused on academic issues.”

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“In reviewing your request we could only consider the clip that you authored, as you are the reporter applying,” Aurigemma wrote. “We did also visit your archive at JNS to see if there was other academic coverage there with your byline, but did not find anything that meets the convention’s criteria for media accreditation. In keeping with the convention policies, we cannot grant the credentials requested.”

In its application, had submitted nine examples of stories it has published on academic issues, including one authored by the reporter who applied. Asked in a follow-up conversation if there were other news outlets MLA rejected for press credentials on the same grounds, Aurigemma told there were three or four such outlets but refused to identify them, citing MLA policy. The Daily Caller reported that is was also denied a press credential for the convention.

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