HomeCategoryPhiladelphia Inquirer Apologizes For ‘Deeply Offensive’ Headline On Protests Editorial

Philadelphia Inquirer Apologizes For ‘Deeply Offensive’ Headline On Protests Editorial

The Philadelphia Inquirer has apologized for using the headline “Buildings Matter, Too” on a comment piece about the damage caused to buildings in the city during anti-racism protests that have spread nationwide following the death of George Floyd last week.

In an apology that the newspaper’s top editors posted online Wednesday, they acknowledged the headline that appeared in its print edition Tuesday was “unacceptable” and “deeply offensive.”

“We should not have printed it. We’re sorry, and regret that we did,” they wrote.

“The headline offensively riffed on the Black Lives Matter movement, and suggested an equivalence between the loss of buildings and the lives of black Americans,” they continued. “That is unacceptable.”



“While no such comparison was intended, intent is ultimately irrelevant,” read the note signed by the Inquirer’s editor Gabriel Escobar, executive editor Stan Wischnowski and managing editor Patrick Kerkstra.

“An editor’s attempt to capture a columnist’s nuanced argument in a few words went horribly wrong, and the resulting hurt and anger are plain,” they added, announcing a review of the publication’s editing and headline-writing process and promising to “continue training and discussions around cultural sensitivity.”

They also apologized to the newspaper’s employees and its journalists, “particularly those of color, who expressed sadness, anger, and embarrassment in a two-hour newsroom-wide meeting Wednesday.”

“An enormous amount of pressure sits on the shoulders of Black and brown Inquirer journalists, and mistakes like this, made by the publication they work for, are profoundly demoralizing,” they concluded. “We hear you and will continue to listen as we work to improve.”

The online version of the story is headlined: “Damaging buildings disproportionately hurts the people protesters are trying to uplift.”



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