Appalachian State Student Newspaper Angers Readers with ‘Belligerent Apology’

The Appalachian, the student newspaper at North Carolina’s Appalachian State University, earned criticism late last week– after taking some of its own readers to task.

On Wednesday, due to an apparent miscommunication with a source, the paper mistakenly tweeted that a popular local Mexican restaurant was closing.  Editors quickly corrected the error, but not before the Appalachianreceived more feedback and engagement than we ever have.”

Instead of penning the typical mea culpa editorial however, the paper published a piecescolding readers for being a little bit too concerned about their quesadillas and margaritas.”  A PR Daily post declared it “a shining example of what not to do– particularly in the world of social media.”  The paper’s managing editor said top staff “stand by the spirit of our editorial, but the tone in which it was delivered was far from ideal.”

As a portion noted, “We’re always happy to admit an oversight in our reporting process, and we’ll use the incident as a learning opportunity. Social media reporting is brand-new. There are still plenty of mistakes and lessons in our future. . . . All of a sudden, people cared– and it was all about a Mexican restaurant.  Sorry burrito lovers, in a list of the most important issues covered this year, the potential closing of [the restaurant] wouldn’t even make the top 10.  We have never seen students engage with our content the way they did today. And frankly, we think there are things that deserve your attention more.”

In a recent post, Jim Romenesko wondered whether it was “THE MOST BELLIGERENT NEWSPAPER APOLOGY EVER?”  Two examples of the 69 mostly-critical comments posted beneath it:


2 Responses to “Appalachian State Student Newspaper Angers Readers with ‘Belligerent Apology’”
  1. kris radley says:

    Everyone has the right to mistake.Good for them that they recognized and repaired it as soon as it was possible.

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