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Correction and apology

From the editor-in-chief

The caption published Wednesday with the photo of Crystal Quiñonez was inaccurate. Quiñonez is, in fact, a U.S. citizen who was studying at El Centro de la Raza on Tuesday.

I apologize on behalf of myself and my staff for this error. I apologize to Crystal, her family, the staff and interns at El Centro de la Raza, and all UNM students for the distress this has caused.

El Centro de la Raza, an invaluable part of UNM, serves more than 1,000 students on campus each year. Though it targets Latino and Latina students, the department welcomes anyone who comes in the door. The caring staff at El Centro de la Raza helps students with any problems they might have related to school, work or family. The organization encourages students to bring their lives with them when they come in, to be a complete person and a student.

The consequences of the error on Wednesday’s front page are far-reaching, to say the least. The Daily Lobo strives for accuracy, and changes in procedure have been made to ensure that no such error can happen again.

The error occurred because several mistakes were made in the editing process for Wednesday’s edition. Every person involved in this process will be disciplined, according to his or her level of responsibility, in the form of suspension without pay.

The caption was originally dictated by the photographer, who had no part in the error. The mistake began in the next step of our caption process: an editing session with the news editor and photo editor. The news editor requested the opportunity to write his own apology and explanation of what happened, which can be found at right. However, the managing editor who read and approved the caption after the news editor wrote it should have questioned the caption. The copy chief who edited the caption after the managing editor should have questioned it as well.

All who were involved apologize. We have spoken with Crystal Quiñonez and representatives from El Centro de la Raza to express our sincere regret.

Upon further reflection, I believe the photo of Quiñonez should not have been published to announce this multimedia series, and the headline above the photo was also misleading. This mistake I also regret deeply, and will discuss with my staff. The multimedia series will not be published.

In sum, we have learned a valuable lesson. Though every single person who works at the Daily Lobo is vigilant, ethical and serious about journalistic integrity, we must try harder. Our goal is to provide you, our readers, with factually accurate information about your community and its leaders so that you can be an effective member of society with the tools you need to voice your concerns and change the world as you see fit.

Thank you for giving us that opportunity.

Rachel Hill

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From the news editor

I take responsibility for writing that Crystal Quiñonez was an undocumented student. Quiñonez is actually a U.S. citizen.

Every video multimedia piece promoted on the Daily Lobo’s front page this year used a photo taken as a still from the video itself. In this case, however, the image used to promote the piece was a photo taken separately of a student studying in El Centro de la Raza. I operated under the assumption that the young woman in the photo was featured in the movie and, therefore, was an undocumented student who gave permission for her likeness and name to be printed. As a result, I wrote that she was an undocumented student.

Quiñonez gave permission to have her photograph taken, but she was not in the multimedia piece and she is not an undocumented student.

I take the issue of undocumented students seriously. I understand that students are not protected from questioning and potential deportation because they are on campus.

The decision to label Quiñonez as undocumented came from simple, sound reasoning.

However, by failing to check and double-check the information, I did not meet the journalistic standards I strive to uphold. I deeply regret my carelessness, and I understand the implications of my action. I am confident that the news section in every single issue of the Daily Lobo printed under my tenure was produced with care and attention to detail, and my commitment to accuracy and fairness will be reflected on the front page throughout the rest of my journalistic career.

Pat Lohmann
News editor

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