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Otago Daily Times apologies for joking about Samoa measles epidemic in cartoon

Otago Daily Times apologies for joking about Samoa measles epidemic in cartoon

By Semi Turaga
Wednesday 04/12/2019

The creator of a cartoon in the Otago Daily Times joking about the Samoa measles epidemic has apologized, saying it should not have been put forward for publication.

Radio NZ reports Garrick Tremain's cartoon sparked an immediate backlash online - being labelled racist, heartless and insensitive.

In an apology, Otago Daily Times Editor Barry Stewart wrote the content and the timing of the cartoon was insensitive, and they apologize without reservation for publishing it.

He says they have published many stories about the human suffering caused by the outbreak. 

Stewart says they are stories not about a virus, they are stories of real people, real hurt, and real tragedy.

He says this should have been their starting point when considering publishing the cartoon. 

Stewart said that it was not was a deeply regrettable error in judgment.

He went to say they will review their selection process and it must be robust as the community expects no less.

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