Editors at Sacramento State’s Hornet apologized in October 2010 for a cartoon (left) titled “Why Baseball is the Best Sport Ever,” which ran after a student was beaten to death with a baseball bat by his roommate. Now the school’s provost, Joseph Sheley, has ordered the Publications Board to make sure offensive material is killed before publication. He told the Sacramento Bee’s Diana Lambert:
I want the advisers and the editors to work a little harder – to discuss the issues and some of the pitfalls that might accompany certain kinds of stories, instead of dissecting them after the fact.
The Publications Board says it recently introduced a checklist for student reporters to use to guard against legal, accuracy, privacy, taste or ethics problems, and added a “not to offend for the sake of offending” policy. Hornet Editor Dustin Nosler says the cartoon flap has prompted staffers to “take more care in what we’re doing. It opened our eyes a little bit.”