World

NY Daily News apologizes for Puerto Rican Day Parade photo controversy

The New York Daily News, which came under fire for a racy picture it ran last week as part of its coverage of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, has apologized for the photo placement.

The tabloid had come under increasing pressure to apologize after it ran a picture of two topless, G-string clad women that had been painted with the Puerto Rican flag. The women were not part of the parade and had been in Times Square charging tourists for photos.

Parade organizers became so enraged after the newspaper refused to address the issue that they dropped the newspaper as co-sponsor. The newspaper has long been one of the event’s main sponsors.

But on Saturday the newspaper finally relented, publishing an editorial acknowledging it made a mistake in running the photo as part of its parade coverage.

“Due to misleading information provided to our editors by a wire photo service, we described these women as paradegoers. They were not. They were, in fact, “performers” trying to make a buck from tourists in Times Square,” the newspaper said. “As a result, we negatively mischaracterized what the Puerto Rican community represents.”

The women, a Colombian and Venezuelan, were holding Puerto Rican flags and had the words “Boricua” and “Pto Rico” painted on their behinds. The women were walking through Times Square, which was not on the parade route.

Parade organizers immediately denounced the paper, saying it unfairly sullied an event that has long been a source of pride for the community. They applauded the Daily News for publishing the editorial, but stopped short of saying whether they would bring the newspaper back as a sponsor. Organizers did not return a phone call from Fox News Latino seeking comment.

"It is a strong and honest step to rectify a mistake, recognize the community's reaction, and respond in a kind, fair and appropriate manner," National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc. said in a statement. "The Daily News' editorial is proof that the community has been heard, and a reminder of the need for accurate, serious and responsible news reporting."

After the photo flap, organizers sent a strongly worded statement to the newspaper and held small protests outside of the newspaper's offices in Manhattan.

“As I would  imagine you are aware, journalism has the power to affect and touch  many  people’s  lives. When  false information is published and left unrectified others, who are not aware that the reporting was inaccurate, perceive misleading and erroneous news reporting as “truth,” Lorraine Cortés-Vazquez, the board director of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Inc., wrote in a letter to the Daily News. “Your editorial team’s irresponsible actions, which can be deemed as yellow journalism, is damaging to our communities and to our brand.”

The Daily News' editorial blamed a wire photo service for providing wrong information about the photo.

“Each day, we take seriously the task of presenting the bold, honest and sometimes risqué personality of this city as we cover the stories that affect people’s lives,” the editorial said. “We like to believe that most of the time we get it right. This time we did not.”

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