A student newspaper in Massachusetts is earning press attention, some reader scorn and an administrative scolding for a spoof issue. Sound familiar?
More than a month after the much-publicized April Fool's issue fall-out with Boston University's Daily Free Press, The Connector at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has published an end-of-year satirical paper dubbed "deeply offensive," "immature, careless, and callous."
A local paper's description of the issue, which was published under the name The DisConnector: "Rife with profanity, it features a grotesque string of ribald tweets supposedly ripped from the actual Twitterverse, jokey items about gays, immigrants and race, a guide to the best brands of college booze, as well as an entire article filled with the excessive repetition of a derogatory term for a woman's anatomy, and many other words and phrases that cannot be reprinted here."
A UML official: "To not have those sensors go off that they were doing something that was so hurtful to others, that's really what was disappointing. They're not bad people; they just allowed immaturity and their own personal fun to really inhibit any boundaries of decency and responsibility as journalists."
In an apology note posted on Facebook (the paper's website has apparently been down for months), the Connector's editor-in-chief writes,
The DisConnector was meant to be a satire. It was meant to generate discussion on our culture and our language. Everything that people have cited as offensive in the DisConnector are all things based around the type of college humor that we have heard repeatedly on television, the internet, and by our very own peers. However, we made a terrible mistake in our judgment. In creating the paper, we did not think of the repercussion it may have on our fellow peers. Even though we did not mean to hurt people, we have, and we want to answer for it.