With the exception of a small handful of die-hard Kiss concertgoers, you may have noticed Friday’s entire edition of The Collegian was published in lieu of America’s favorite fake holiday, April Fool’s Day.
Whether it was Kiss headlining the re-opening of the outdoor amphitheater, or Hitler visiting campus in 1933, all eight pages were filled with whatever blatantly satirical stories The Collegian could muster.
In case you were wondering, a few students did call the newsroom asking for Kiss concert tickets. And, as a result of our faux story about Pedro Ramirez and Neil O’Brien becoming friends, O’Brien asked Ramirez out to lunch. Ramirez declined.
But, as holds true with any issue, satirical or serious, some articles were taken less with a grain of salt than with a grudge. A few feelings were hurt, and maybe a bridge or two burned. The Lopes family may not grant us any more interviews.
The squirrels in particular may see fit to make our article about them a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Regardless, we make no apologies, and we remain confident that we lived up to the April Fool’s Day billing and distributed a newspaper that the student body was very interested in.
Yes, we did run into some issues regarding the sports section in particular, and a small uproar from the lacrosse community that refused to accept the humor in an article poking fun at the program’s on-field troubles. We also learned a valuable lesson in how to properly publish images of public figures.
But save for a few that decided not to read the articles with a sense of humor, many found it hilarious. Most found it a riot. Some took a different approach, and that’s OK.
That’s just the nature of being a news media outlet. The Collegian fully understands that with every issue, some backlash is inevitable. Although it may come as a shock, we are genuinely concerned when a reader or a group of readers are hurt by a story. We value all of our readers. We pay attention to all criticism of us, and decide if it’s valid or not. In this case, we feel confident that we put out an excellent paper.
In hindsight, could things have been handled differently? Can’t they always?
Our overriding concern for the April Fool’s issue, however, was to make students laugh. And judging by the positive feedback that poured into the newsroom and popped up online all day Friday, our inaugural April Fool’s edition was a success, whether or not it left a few bad tastes in readers’ mouths.