Newspaper apologizes to readers for showing Muslims celebrating on 9/11

Portland Herald Press apologizes for offending readers with a front-page story and photos on Saturday, 9/11 that showed  Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan.

Press Herald “We have acknowledged that we erred by at least not offering balance to the story and its prominent position on the front page. We believed that the day after the anniversary would be the appropriate occasion to provide extensive new coverage of the events and observances conducted locally and elsewhere.

In hindsight, it is clear that we should have handled this differently and with greater sensitivity toward the painful memories stirred by the anniversary of 9/11.”

Readers began writing  to our paper and website en masse, criticizing our decision on coverage and story play of the local observance of the end of Ramadan by local Muslims.

“We are sorry you are offended by today’s front page photo and story and certainly understand your point of view. Many feel the same way. We do not offer the stock excuses you cite. We should have balanced this story with one that showed our sensitivity to today’s historic importance. You will see tomorrow that our planned coverage of today’s 9/11 events is extensive, far more so than the coverage of this event on Friday. We apologize for what may appear to be our insensitivity to the historic significance of this day. Tomorrow’s newspaper will feature extensive coverage of the commemoration of today’s events.”

“Our editors believed that 3,000 persons marking the passage of a Muslim religious observance and congregating in Portland to do so was news. While I believe that decision was correct, I also believe we should have handled it in a more sensitive way.”

–Richard L.Connor
Editor and Publisher