California paper apologises for publishing gay slur in headline

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Christmas Day readers of the Santa Barbara News-Press will have been in for a shock after discovering that a story was published with two anti-gay slurs.

Reporter Paul Gonzales found his byline altered to read “Paul Gayzalez” in the print edition of the Californian newspaper, with his job title reading “News-Press Faggoat”.

This byline did not feature in the online version of the story.

Since the incident has come to light, the employee who edited the byline has been sacked, and the paper has apologised to its readers.

“In Monday’s News-Press, one of our employees changed another employee’s byline to reflect an offensive slur,” an apology from the paper reads.

“The News-Press has taken immediate and swift action with this employee; we do not tolerate any form of harassment in the workplace. We apologize to our readers.”

Paul Gonzales, who has worked at the publication for three years, said that the reporter in question offered “a personal apology which I have accepted.”

“The News-Press leadership might not condone this language, but the reality is that at least one person in the newsroom thought this was acceptable. It is not,” wrote The Pacific Pride Foundation, who will also be filing a letter of protest against the paper.

This is not the first time the paper has found itself in hot water.

The publication has made national headlines twice in the course of 2017.

Not only was it the first newspaper to endorse President Trump in the general election, it also published a story about US migrants applying for driver’s licenses with the headline “Illegals Line Up for Driver’s Licenses”, reports the Los Angeles Times.




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