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Aspen Daily News editor-in-chief speaks at rally for reproductive rights

Planned Parenthood Protest
Halle Zander
Students from Aspen High School on Oct. 2 lead a march along Hopkins Avenue downtown in support of reproductive rights.

In July, NPR updated its code of ethics regarding journalistic impartiality. NPR said that engaging in “civic, cultural and community activities (is) fine.” But, it added, “don’t sign, don’t advocate and don’t donate.”

Such a policy differs from that of The New York Times and many other news organizations that do not allow any activity that could raise doubts about a journalist’s neutrality.

On Oct. 2, Aspen High School students organized a protest about a new law in Texas that outlaws abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. As part of the protest, Aspen Daily News Editor-in-Chief Megan Tackett gave a speech about the history of women’s rights and reproductive rights. But she said she was not there to represent her paper.

“I struggled about whether to participate in this capacity today,” Tackett said. “So often these days, I identify mostly with my job. And journalists don’t typically participate in events. They document them. But when a young woman I’ve come to admire asked me to speak at an event she was organizing, I remembered even more than my job, I identify as a woman.”

Many newspapers and radio stations are approaching this boundary differently. Reporter Halle Zander sat down with Tackett to discuss her speech and how it impacts her reporting in the future.

Halle is an award-winning journalist and the All Things Considered Anchor for Aspen Public Radio. She has been recognized for her work by the Public Media Journalists Association and the Colorado Broadcasters Association. Before she began working full-time with Aspen Public Radio in September 2021, Halle was a freelance broadcast journalist for both Aspen Public Radio and KDNK. Halle studied environmental analysis at Pitzer College. She was an educator at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and at the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment program, where she taught youth radio and managed a weekly public affairs show.