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Editor's Note: Why we published an anonymous news story

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DECEMBER 06, 2022

After much discussion, The Daily Californian’s news editing team has decided not to attribute this story to specific reporters. While we ordinarily publish the names of our reporters in accordance with journalistic best practices, we felt that this situation warranted an exception to the rule.

The story concerns a vigil that took place to remember those who lost their lives in a residential fire in Ürümqi. The incident has sparked nationwide protests, with protestors calling for an end to China’s zero-COVID lockdown policy and actively speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party. 

The reporters who worked on this article are from Hong Kong and mainland China. In Hong Kong and mainland China, protestors and journalists face retaliation from the government and party affiliates. Hong Kong and Chinese international students who are considered “dissidents” may face harassment in the United States or punishment when they return home. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, it is integral that we conceal the identities of our reporters when covering this issue and allow them to publish under The Daily Californian News Staff byline.

Many sources present at the vigil also requested anonymity or partial anonymity, fearing retaliation from the Chinese government — we granted these requests for the same reason as our reporters.

Every news story published by The Daily Californian is subject to a rigorous editing and fact checking process that requires the approval of at least three editors. This story is no exception. We have full faith in the accuracy and fairness of this story, even if safety prevents its writers from receiving credit for their work.

By explaining why we chose to make an exception to our editorial policies in this case, we hope to maintain the utmost transparency and build trust with our readers.

Those with questions are more than welcome to contact our managing editor Aditya Katewa at [email protected] or our news editing team at newsedit[email protected].

Contact Veronica Roseborough at 


DECEMBER 08, 2022