There has been a lot of reflection around The GW Hatchet offices in the past several weeks over the April Fools’ publication. We, the editors who created it, went too far. We crossed the line of good taste and appropriateness.
We apologize to our readers, our advertisers and the GW community as a whole. And we pledge to be more responsible in the future.
For roughly 65 issues each year, the Hatchet staff tries to publish a paper that informs and entertains the University community in a professional and respectful manner. We are proud of The GW Hatchet, which has won numerous college journalism awards and was named the best non-daily student newspaper in the mid-Atlantic region last weekend. We are also proud of a tradition that this year is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Our separation from the University and subsequent independence, which was worked out 11 years ago, makes us especially cognizant of our responsibilities. Now, as an independent entity, our mistakes are no one’s but our own.
Traditionally, the April Fools’ paper gives the Hatchet staff a chance to be funny, daring, off-the-wall and creative. The idea is to parody the traditional – and some non-traditional – targets, in ways that the “regular” paper can’t do. Parts of this year’s edition simply went too far and instead of being funny were sophomoric and crude.
For this, again, we apologize to our community, and to any individual or groups that may have been offended by our extreme, insensitive, and unfortunate content.
We have, in our 11 years as an independent publication, been given tremendous latitude by our Board of Directors, which has not meddled in our editorial judgments and does not pre-screen our issues. We, the staff, respect that independence and recognize that responsibility on our part will keep it that way. And with this message, we rededicate ourselves to quality, fairness and respectability – in short, to professionalism. We should be able to do that not only in the traditional “journalism” elements of the paper, but in its columns, opinion pages, arts and entertainment features, humor and, yes, in any future satire editions.
And we will endeavor to make this professionalism a core element of what we are not only this year, but for the next hundred years of this publication.
Editor in Chief
President, Board of Directors
This article appeared in the April 22, 2004 issue of the Hatchet.