Northern Kentucky Student Newspaper Drops Resistance Ad

The Northerner has apologized for running the Resistance. The Northern Kentucky University student newspaper issued a mea culpa for featuring an advertisement in two recent issues for Resistance Records, which sells “white supremacist music” (I’m putting that in quotes because I do not know and do not even want to know what that might entail).

The Louisville Courier-Journal: The paper’s editor “found out there was a problem with the advertisement . . . when he got a voice mail from a reporter at a local television station. He quickly researched the business and discovered that it sold white supremacist and neo-Nazi music.” Apparently, a few people sent in e-mail complaints and one individual came to the paper’s newsroom in person to register an objection. The editor: “It was a mistake on our part not to research the ad enough. It’s our responsibility to research our clients if it seems a little weird or a little sketchy. It was a total honest mistake.”

An apology has been issued by the paper, with the top editor stating in part: “While it is not illegal to run ads of this nature, we at The Northerner see it as an ethical issue.  We do not wish to be in business with groups or organizations that promote any form of racism, sexism, ageism, or any other form of discrimination. While issues of this nature are dependent on who runs The Northerner each semester, it was my decision that the paper, for this semester, will not advertise with this business or other businesses like it.”

My take: Hey, it happens. Yes, more research should have been done upfront, but some things will inevitably slip through the cracks within the deadline multi-tasking hell that is student newspapering in the second half of a semester.  I applaud the editor and staff for handling the situation with class. The newspaper chose the correct route- full disclosure, return of the money, a front-and-center apology (literally atop the homepage right now), and a spirit of learn-as-you-go-do-better-next-time embedded in every word.

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