Why Rochester’s newspaper won’t stop using ‘Redskins’

The Rochester Post-Bulletin says it will not be joining a movement by some newspapers to stop using the word “Redskins” when writing stories about Washington’s NFL team.

In a post today, managing editor Jay Furst says not all members of the Post-Bulletin staff believe the name is derogatory. But, in the end, he decided not to take sides.

Furst says the newspaper will not use the name in editorials and opinion columns, but will continue to use it in sports stories.

At the same time, we acknowledge that the team name is offensive to some readers, and we’ll do our best to limit use of the name — once a story ought to be enough — and we’ll limit usage in headlines and photo captions.

We’ll also be more attentive to the use of other team names that are controversial, such as the Cleveland Indians. It’s common to refer to the Indians as the “Tribe,” for example. We’ll do our best to avoid those types of racially loaded terms, especially in headlines.

I think this is a good compromise that keeps the line between opinions and news coverage bright and clear. Our credibility is our most precious asset. Our mission in the news pages is to be fair, accurate and straight down the middle, avoiding any appearance of being influenced by outside pressures.

If we were to drop usage of the Washington team name in our news and sports pages, we’d appear to be choosing sides in an ongoing national debate. That would raise questions about the impartiality of our coverage, maybe not only on this issue but on others as well.

Furst says the “vast majority” of journalists around the country agree that news organizations should shouldn’t take sides on the issue.

Archive: For media, ‘Redskins’ use question should not be hard (NewsCut).

  • Moffitt

    “…not all members of the Post Bulletin staff believe the name is derogatory.”
    Such as sports editor Ben Tenhorse, lifestyles writer Mary White Fox, advertising director Joan Kingbird?
    I know that not all Native Americans agree on this either, but it seems like most don’t support the use of that nickname. So I don’t either.

    • “…not all members of the Post Bulletin staff believe the name is derogatory.”

      I’m sure there are members of the Post Bulletin (and the public in general) that don’t think various other names are derogatory, either. Those people are called “racists.”

  • DavidG

    “But, in the end, he decided not to take sides.”

    I don’t think that’s possible. If you continue use of the name, you have accepted that the derogatory nickname argument is irrelevant or unpersuasive.

    • jorge macias

      Right now, they are still called the REDSKINS,an that’s what they’ll be called for another 80 plus years…so call them what they are…else quit your job….HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!

    • Jess Rabourn

      David, sir, I’m sorry, but that is nonsense. Not taking sides means calling them by their official name, Redskins, until the name is changed (if it ever is changed). The media’s job is to report what is, not what they think should be.

  • Jay Furst

    Typo and misrepresentation in your last graf, Bob. Here’s the excerpt: “The vast majority of mainstream journalists at news organizations around
    the country agree that for now, it’s inappropriate to “choose sides”
    and drop the name. This isn’t to say that a year from now we might not
    come to a different conclusion. This issue will evolve, new information
    will come out, the NFL and the team ownership will respond and we’ll
    adjust.”

  • Gary F

    Why hasn’t the town of Liberal Kansas changed their high school name? Heck they even say “It’s a great day to be a Redskin”. on their website

    • Gary F
    • Perhaps you can ask them yourself. And while you are at it, you might want to mention that their website is horrific.

      You can ask the other 60-some high schools why they haven’t changed their names either.

      • Jess Rabourn

        They haven’t changed their names because “Redskins”, “Indians” “Braves”, “Blackhawks”, “Illinis”, “Fighting Sioux”, etc are great names that honor the memory of Native American nations. Despite the so-called offenses some claim to take, not every race related issue is a matter of racism.

        • Jess Rabourn

          Oh, I forgot the Aztecs, Spartans, Trojans, Fighting Irish, Vikings, Canadiens, and Canucks, all team names representing race and nationality and having nothing to do with racism. Let’s get back to respecting these great names, and quit the faux-progressive guilt mongering.

  • Armand Rodriguez

    There are a lot of problems affecting Native Americans: alcoholism, unemployment, education and broken families to name a few. It shows the sincerity and depth of liberal compassion towards Native Americans that they have chosen the name of a football team as its greatest threat. If the left is as successful with Native Americans as they have been with other minorities, you can expect a systemic break down of their culture.