Posted on August 12, 2004

Miami Herald Pulls Features Magazine

AP,, Aug. 12

MIAMI — The Miami Herald pulled its daily features magazine from Tuesday’s editions because it contained what could have been perceived as racially insensitive content, the newspaper said Wednesday.

A small story on the front page of Tuesday’s Herald informed readers that the newspaper’s Tropical Life section would not run that day and its content could be found elsewhere in the paper, but gave no details on why it didn’t run.

The concern was over a headline that was juxtaposed over an illustration for a story on Olympic athletes and doping. The headline “How they will cheat” was placed over an illustration of a bulked-up athlete with a dark complexion.

Much of the magazine’s content was moved to other sections in Tuesday’s edition, including its daily puzzles, advice column, horoscope and movie listings. Tuesday’s comic strips ran in Wednesday’s Tropical Life, and Thursday’s magazine was to run two days’ worth of comics.

“The magazine Tropical Life had an editorial production issue that could have been perceived by some readers as being racially insensitive,” said Tom Fiedler, the Herald’s executive editor.

Fiedler said the editor who wrote the headline and the illustrator were not working side-by-side on the magazine’s front cover, and the decision to pull the section was made only after it was printed and the words and illustration were seen together.

“When the headline was overlaid over the illustration it became a double entendre statement that could be misinterpreted by readers,” he said.

Fiedler said he didn’t want to risk offending readers by detailing the problem with the magazine in the Tuesday story.