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We do not wish to offend, but reflect reality
After much deliberation by the editorial board, the Chronicle saw fit to run the expletive in Senior arrested after filming another student’s arrest.
Some may be offended by the word, and rightfully so. But we attempted to portray the situation as accurately as possible, and we felt this included the use of an expletive by an on-duty police officer in a public setting.
These words are a direct quotation. We do not wish to mince, mash or manipulate these words at all – we wish you to hear them as they were originally heard.
We trust and respect our readers. We ask that, if you are offended, be offended by the police officer who used such language – not the news outlet that reported it.
It is our duty as a news outlet to objectively depict reality. By substituting dashes or asterisks in the police officer’s words, we feel we would not be doing our duty.
The Associated Press Stylebook advises media outlets to not use obscenities, profanities or vulgarities “unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them.”
The police officer’s response is a vital part of the story.
It is by no means a gratuitous use of the word. There is no intention of shock value. There is no hope to scandalize or offend. The Chronicle only wishes to accurately show a police officer’s response to senior Kenneth Hartford’s action of recording a police encounter. According to state law, Hartford was well within his rights to do that.
We only report the news. We don’t change it.
Those who take serious issue with the Chronicle’s use of the expletive are advised to meet with General Manager Tara McMahon and Editor in chief Joe Pelletier. They can be found in SC210, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.