Following several digs at Española, newspaper apologizes

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) –  A few weeks after the Santa Fe Reporter published several jokes about Española in satire columns, the paper has issued an apology.

KRQE News 13 first brought you this story on Aug. 11.

The problems started when the Santa Fe Reporter initially made a joke about out-of-state students receiving in-state tuition at Northern New Mexico College, but still having to live in Española to get it. The joke appeared in a satirical weekly wrap-up column called “7 Days.”

After backlash from Españolans over the crack, two more jokes about the community followed in another “7 Days.” That sparked further anger from residents of the community, including people at NNMC.

In a KRQE News 13 interview, Patricia Trujillo, NNMC’s Director of Equity and Diversity, said the jokes were “not appropriate,” and accused the paper of racist undertones because the satire column’s web version featured a picture of Caucasian people holding signs that said “F*** OFF!” adjacent to the second and third Española jokes.

When KRQE News 13 first reported this story, SFR’s Editor Julie Ann Grimm said the image was unrelated to the Española jokes and that in the paper’s print version the image was clearly tied to another story. The online story was later tweaked so that the image does not appear to correspond, moved to another spot on the webpage. 

Despite saying Españolans were making a “mountain out of a molehill,” and lashing out at KRQE News 13 for reporting the allegations of racist undertones by Trujillo, Grimm and the paper are now saying sorry.

The apology can be found in a “Letters to the Editor” column, published Aug. 23, which says in part:

…In recent weeks, our “7 Days” satire column referenced events in Española. We now realize that what we wrote carried a deep context of racism and classism. We’re sorry for our lack of consideration.”

Read the full apology on the Santa Fe Reporter’s website, here.

The paper also published several letters to the editor that defend Española.

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