The NY Times is now backpedaling on their recent story that characterized Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo. by a police officer, as “no angel”. John Eligon, a black writer, said that Brown’s life involved alcohol, drugs and rap music. And may felt that he was victim blaming.
In response to the backlash the article received, Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, penned another article, with an interview with Eligon. Eligon stated that he should have used better words:
“I understand the concerns, and I get it,” Mr. Eligon said. He agreed that “no angel” was not a good choice of words and explained that they were meant to play off the opening anecdote of the article in which Mr. Brown saw an angelic vision. That anecdote “is about as positive as you can get,” Mr. Eligon said, and noted that a better way to segue into the rest of the article might have been to use a phrase like “wasn’t perfect.”
“Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I would have changed that,” he said.
Sullivan also stated that posting the article on Michael Brown’s funeral day was a bad decision.
Read the full post here.