Journalists with Northeastern University's student newspaper The Huntington News have been at odds with the school's administration. They say Northeastern has limited access to the university's president and leveled unfair and inaccurate criticisms against the paper's reporting. Last week, Huntington News managing editor Deanna Schwartz discussed the situation with WGBH News' All Things Considered host Arun Rath. Schwartz is also an intern for WGBH News' Beat the Press. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Arun Rath: So let's start with the issue of access. You and your colleagues say that in trying to report stories on Northeastern, you've been unable to get interviews with President Joseph Aoun. He apparently hasn't been interviewed by the paper in seven years?

Deanna Schwartz: Yes, that's true. His last interview with us was in 2013 when, just for reference, I was in middle school, and most of us were in middle school. I think the issue is that it's not just Aoun. We have a lot of trouble speaking to anyone who works for the university. To interview anyone who's not a professor, we have to go through the media relations department. They're very uncommunicative and often they interact with us in a rude and unprofessional manner. It creates a lot of barriers in our reporting.

Rath: You defintely have to be prepared in ways for stonewalling, but that's not where you'd expect to have it from. You say executives with Northeastern's communications office have criticized The Huntington News. You say they claim there were inaccuracies in your reporting. Tell us about that.

Schwartz: They gave the Boston Globe as a reason for deying us interviews that we frequently have errors, but this is not true. One of my fellow students looked at every story from the past three years, and we have a correction rate of 1.8%, which I think is a pretty good correction percentage for a student newspaper that puts out almost 1,000 stories a year. A lot of times, the mistakes that we do make are made as a result of barriers that the media relations office institutes for us. We'll try to get a fact-check on something, and they won't respond, and then we might get that wrong beause we didn't get the fact-check we asked for.

Rath: And you say their list of innacuracies has inaccuracies in it.

Schwartz: Yes. We often get corrections from them that we deem to be not valid corrections, it's them trying to cover up. We're confident and we have faith in our reporting. There have been numerous occasions where they send us a corection and we don't deem it to be a valid correction, and we don't make the correction.

Rath: They're telling this to the Globe, you said. What about communications from the actual communications office to you, or to The Huntington News?

Schwartz: It was shocking to me to read what they said in the Globe. They've said similar [things] to our faces, and I've been very open about this, and I've tweeted about this. Northeastern's vice president of communications has sent me numerous emails that are pretty much personal attacks on me, telling me I shouldn't be a journalist, telling me my reporting is sloppy, that my reporters are incompetent. They've said The Huntington News has a pattern of getting things wrong.

Rath: WGBH News was in touch with Northeastern for a comment about all this. We got a response from Renata Nyul.

Schwartz: That's the same woman I'm talking about. Renata and I had a conversation. It was a good discussion. She more or less apologized to me for her words. We're really working on moving forward and building up our relationship with the administration, because they need us, we need them, and we need to work together.

Rath: That was more or less the gist of the statement which she provided to us. It reads in part, "we’ve had very productive conversations with the editors at The Huntington News, and with many of our alumni. We are optimistic that we have arrived at a valuable reset moment and we are looking forward to a great partnership with The Huntington News." Do you feel like things are back on track now, or is it too early to say?

Schwartz: I think things are getting better. Things had gotten to a point that were so untenable between us and the administration that we just needed to do something bold. We've debated going public with this for a really long time. Since last fall we've been talking about exposing some of what we've dealt with from the administration, and it reached a point where it was really untenable and we had to do something. I'm glad we did, because we're already seeing change. A colleague and I interviewed the chancellor and the provost. We've never been able to do that before, and that interview is on the website. We're working on scheduling an interview with President Aoun. They keep saying that they're willing to give us the interview. We'll see if it actually happens, I'm a little doubtful. But I think the most important thing is that we are moving forward.

Rath: Besides being managing editor of the paper, obviously you're also a journalism student. I've got to imagine that with your professors, this is kind of the definition of a "teachable moment." That phrase gets used too much. How have you all been talking about it?

Schwartz: Since the very beginning, when these attacks on us first started - I mean, we've always had the issues of lack of access, lack of communication - but the personal attacks on us and on me began in the fall. As soon as those started, we immediately showed them to professors. It was the kind of thing that made our professors' jaws drop. They couldn't believe a professional was talking to a student this way. They immediately helped us craft response emails, figure out a game plan. All the professors kept telling me that this is the best journalism training I'm ever going to have, because this is how people in the real world are. This is how PR people talk to journalists. Of course, most don't do as many ad hominem attacks as I received from Northeastern's media relations department, but it's the best training I would ever receive. I agree with that, looking back. I've become way more confident in my own reporting, I have way more faith in us as a news organization. I have way more confidence that the community is rallying behind us. I've received so much support from students at Northeastern, professors, other student journalists, professional journalists. The outpouring of support has been really amazing.

Rath: The context of all of this is that you're a journalism student, and you know the press has been attacked plenty of times in this country's history, but we've never been through a situation like this - being branded the "enemy of the people," where it's so contentious and divided. It's hard for me to imagine being a journalism student at this singular moment.

Schwartz: It's really sickening to see our university administration take on some of the same tactics as this country's administration. It's kind of all I've known, to be honest. I was 16 when Donald Trump was elected, and I only really decided to pursue journalism at the very end of high school, when I was 18. It's kind of all I've known. I hear people talk about the olden days, when the administration had respect for journalists. But this is really all I've known. In many of my classes we've talked about how awful it is that the country's administration treats journalists this way. I learned that before I started to see this from Northeastern's administration. It's concerning and disheartening, and it's disturbing. I'm glad that it's being called out and being brought to light, because things can only get better from here.