UCSF Editor and Reporter Apologize for
Offensive Gay Staph Story
Offensive Gay Staph Story
I am very pleased to report that the writer of the offensive article that appeared over the weekend in the UCSF student newspaper the Synapse, and her editor, have apologized in writing.
It took these students journalists less time to apologize than the UCSF administrators too in making their tepid apology for the press office's stigmatize press release on the study.
Not only that, but the reporter was kind enough to send two notes, and I am appreciative of both. I look forward to reading the paper's apology later this week.
The editor's note this morning:
Dear Mr. Petrelis:
I just wanted to follow up on Aprille's email to you. Clearly, we are in error, and apologize for the error. A correction will run in this week's issue of the student newspaper.
There was certainly no intent on our part to offend anyone, and we apologize for any problems our mistake has caused.
Managing Editor, Synapse
First email from the Synapse writer:
As the author of the article published in the student newspaper, I would like to say that I, in no way intended to make a "derogatory" and "inflammatory" article as the author of this blog has erroneously concluded. I am a strong supporter of the LGBT community, and I work in the Castro district with no fear or judgment of anyone who I communicate and work with every day.
My intention of the article was a strict summary of what was handed to me by Synapse's editor, a medical student who was looking for health articles and someone to provide a summary of that article. The New York Times article can be read here.
As you can see, my article was intended to be a summary of the New York Times article. The article handed to me was the only one given to me, and she did not give me any other data or news stories to base the article on. Therefore, it was inappropriate and quick to assume that I left out any data to "scare readers". If I were given press statements given by the authors of the study, then I would have gladly included it in my article. It was also offensive to assume that this article was based on my own opinion, when it should be known that the article talks solely about the study- which I also agree is inconclusive and offensive to the gay community.
Again, I have no bias against gays and lesbians and will continue support and advocate their cause. My article, intended for a summary on the NY Times article, was misconstrued and misinterpreted. The newspaper, and I, was wrongly blamed for what the Mr. Petrelis interpreted the article to be, when it was intended to sum up the one that I was given.
I would like to speak to Mr. Petrelis or anyone else, if he/she has any questions or comments and please contact me personally about this situation.
Aprille A. Espinueva
This was her second email to me:
Thank you for your email and bringing this to my attention. I, in no way, intended to offend the gay community with my article and am a strong advocate and supporter of the LGBT community. I have been active in my support of the community, working in conjunction with student projects such as Project HIV and the AIDS Action Network here at UCSF. Many of my friends and peers also belong to the LGBT community, so it was very hurtful and wrong to think that I would write such an article to scare readers and lead them into thinking there is a threat. I also work in the Castro district here in San Francisco, and enjoy working with everyone in the area. Whereas this in no means makes up for the many misinterpretations of the Synapse article, I apologize if it was offensive and misleading.
I would like you to know I based the article on the New York Times article given to me, and wrote it in a similar fashion without including any judgment or opinion of my own.
If I was given any more press statements, news releases, or articles to provide a counter-argument to the study, I would have gladly included it. It was also wrong to assume that I intentionally left this information out. This article was supposed to be a quick summary on the NY Times article, and not an opinion piece of my own. I would like to add that I have no connection to the researchers, nor have I been in contact with them regarding their study. I was only given the NY Times piece on the Annals of Internal Medicine study. I do agree that the study was stigmatizing, inconclusive, and biased. Their target population was very small, and was insufficient enough to reach their conclusion.
Please contact me regarding this situation, and my apologizes once again.
Aprille A. Espinueva