Letter From the Editor: APAHM coverage
On Tuesday, the Justice published an Arts cover that depicted the Brandeis Asian American Student Association’s “Dare to Dream,” the opening ceremony of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. On Wednesday, BAASA leadership and the APAHM ceremony organizers reached out to us to highlight several problematic design choices. The Justice regrets these mistakes, and we would like to apologize to BAASA and those who were understandably hurt by our cover.
Although the aim of our Arts cover was to acknowledge the APAHM opening ceremony, we inadvertently used a font type for the text that played into a historical pattern of stereotyping Asian Americans. In addition, the concept for the cover itself failed to thoughtfully depict the themes of “Dare to Dream” and instead inappropriately represented the event and its purpose. The Justice cares deeply about recognizing and unlearning stereotypical depictions to ensure that they do not appear in our reporting, and we regret that in this instance we fell short of these expectations. We will work to do better in the future.
We deeply appreciate that concerned members of the community took the time to reach out and educate us about the problems with our design, and we are taking this opportunity to re-evaluate our design process to ensure that errors like this are not repeated. The feedback we received has revealed flaws in the way we create our Arts covers, and we are committed to reforming our practices to ensure events are covered with greater attention and sensitivity. Moving forward, Arts covers will be designed only after consulting the reporters, reviewers or photographers who attended the event to gain a better sense of the event’s core themes and messages. Additionally, if an event on the Arts cover does not have a corresponding article in that issue, our readers will be notified if such an article will be published on a later date. The accompanying APAHM article will appear in our March 12 issue.
This Sunday, the cover’s designer and senior editors of the Justice will meet with BAASA leadership to discuss how the Justice can improve its relationship with cultural clubs. As student journalists, we are always seeking to learn, improve our reporting and build better relationships with our community.