Local newspaper prints offensive headline, apologizes - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local newspaper prints offensive headline, apologizes


The Antigo Daily Journal is receiving criticism from viewers near and far after printing a headline many consider racially insensitive.

In the Wednesday addition in the paper, the following headline was printed regarding a hockey game, “Red Robins Scalp Indians in solid GNC 6-0 shutout.”

Residents said they were surprised to see the words.

“I got the paper, I read it, and I said to my wife this is gonna be trouble,” Lyle Foth said. “I thought it was kind of racist and I don't know if they did it on purpose or not.”

On Friday, the paper's editor, Fred Berner, released the following statement saying: “We issue our deepest apology to anyone who was offended, and offer assurances that to the best of our ability, such things will not occur in the future... The unfortunate coupling of words amounted to a racial and historical slur, which was painful to many of our readers.”

Berner said thousands of people saw the headline and shared it, which resulted in calls and emails. The headline even reached a national organization.

“It's dehumanizing and it is insulting,” Native American Journalists Association President Bryan Pollard said. “Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect. So, with that in mind how then is referring to the butchering of a native person or people, how is that appropriate in a headline? It's not.”

Pollard said the association is happy the paper issued an apology.

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