Why we retracted a recent article and how we can do better

Haley Candelario

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Haley Candelario is the Editor-in-Chief of The Collegian.

Dear readers,

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We want to be fully transparent in our decision to retract the article “Queer business owner wants Fort Collins to ride radically” published Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 6 a.m. on collegian.com and published the same day in our print product due to errors regarding how the article misrepresented a member of our Fort Collins community.

The article did not accurately represent Bike Recyclery owner Justyne Rayne’s stances of inclusivity within the cycling community, nor did the article touch on how Rayne’s business promotes inclusivity within the cycling community.

Rayne reached out to The Collegian and outlined the following major issues with the article:

  • The language of FTW/GQ (femme, trans, women, genderqueer) or the language of WTF/NB (women, trans, femme, non-binary) are not mentioned once throughout the article.
  • Sentences in the article focusing on a class Rayne teaches at the Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op, known as the Hex Wenches, fails to mention the name of the group and asserts that the class is primarily for women who happen to allow trans and non-binary people.
  • The class is specifically an FTW/GQ group, which allows people who identify as femme, trans, women or genderqueer to participate. The article failed to highlight and focus on Rayne’s business, the Bike Recyclery.

For these reasons, The Collegian has retracted the article in full to emphasize to you, our readers, that we recognize how our role as journalists can hinder one’s understanding of the LGBTQ community.

In recent years, The Collegian has made a conscious effort to improve how communities we report on are represented fairly and accurately in our work, with close attention being given to how we report on minoritized communities.

Failing to accurately and fairly report on these communities causes direct harm to our readers and to our community by inhibiting our readers’ understanding of that community and perpetuates falsehoods and negative stereotypes. This is outside of our company’s Code of Ethics and outside of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.

Thank you for continuing to read and provide your feedback on our student journalism. We appreciate the opportunity to grow and learn with you as an audience and to learn from mistakes like these in the future. 

Sincerely,

Haley Candelario, editor-in-chief

Haley Candelario can be reached at editor@collegian.com or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.

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