‘Do I have a booger?’ U-News staff apology and retraction

Melissa Oribhabor

Dear University News readers,

A forum piece entitled “Do I have a booger?” was published in last week’s issue of U-News. The article was indisputably offensive and condescending to the people it described and there was no legitimate excuse for its publication.

All remaining issues were pulled form U-News bins on campus and in the city Wednesday, Sept. 29. Additionally, an online apology and retraction letter was issued by our culture editor, Nikki Bomgardner, who authored the forum article.

As a newspaper, we have an ethical, moral and social obligation to publish content that is factual, balanced and reflective of our diverse readership. “Do I have a booger?” did not live up to these standards, and U-News is working to ensure that we adhere to the highest journalistic standards.

While the U-News staff collectively bears complete responsibility as a group for the printing of this article, several individuals, including the faculty adviser, ad manager, business manager and editor-in-chief, did not see the article before it was printed.

Our past policy, which is the case for most professional newspapers, was for section editors to fact-check and edit content in their sections and copy editors to make grammatical and AP style corrections.

A zero-tolerance policy on cultural insensitivity has been implemented, along with new editorial oversight that will require our editor-in-chief to preview all content prior to publication.

The U-News staff also believes this incident is an opportunity for individuals and groups on campus and in the community to recognize and discuss biases and prejudices in our society.

We would like to thank the individuals and groups who took time to write to us and express their views. Reader input is always welcome.

We would also like to thank the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs for facilitating and relaying student concerns to our office.

Sincerely,

University News staff