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Oswego State student newspaper apologizes for calling city council member a sex offender

The Oswego State student newspaper has issued an apology for referring to a city councilman as a “registered sex offender.”
Oswego (WSYR-TV) – The Oswego State student newspaper has issued an apology for referring to a city councilman as a “registered sex offender.”

The Oswegonian posted a retraction on its website last week:

Due to an editing error, Oswego City Councilman Michael Todd was incorrectly referred to as a registered sex offender and co-owner of D&M Taxi company with Brian Savage, in the Feb. 15 issue of The Oswegonian, in an article titled “Taxi license ban on criminals weakened.”


The original post, which has since been edited, can be read here.

A PDF version of the print newspaper can be downloaded on The Oswegonian’s website with the following three paragraphs on page A4 (emphasis added):

“Why aren’t we doing something before something terrible happens?” Todd said. “We know we have drivers who are child rapists. Light bulbs should be going off. We should prevent a potentially harmful situation before it is too late.”


Todd is a registered sex offender and manager of D&M taxi company with his brother, Brian Savage.


Todd relayed a story where he went to pick up his twelve-year-old daughter from an Oswego Middle School dance. He said he found young girls leaving the school dance and getting into Lake City cabs. Todd sees a problem with drivers that are registered pedophiles picking up young girls.


Journalism blogger Jim Romanesko initially reported on the retraction. He reached out to the paper’s editor, Aimee Hirsch. She told Romanesko:

I would have to agree with you that this is a newspaper’s worst nightmare, especially for us since, as a student newspaper, one of our primary goals is learning and developing our skills for future careers in journalism. My newspaper staff and I have been sick with grief over this error, and feel terrible about what Todd and his family are going through because of it. At this point we are doing what we can to remedy the situation. We are trying to learn from this so we can improve our editing process and make sure nothing like this ever happens again.


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