I feel a responsibility to make a few comments about this story. This has been blown out of proportion and saddens me that this paper has been a participant. I thought, being an "independent" paper, as you call yourself, you would have higher standards.
First, the decision of the editors to put this story "below the fold" on the front of the news section (of the print edition) is of great concern. THIS is news? Somehow that would imply that more noteworthy events aren't happening in Raleigh/Durham, yet this surely isn't the correct conclusion. Taking a look at any of the TV news reports in the area, the websites of newspapers and even listening to news radio, one finds there are many more front-page-worthy stories to report on. There is crime, controversy and even special interest stories - all that, in my mind, would take precedence over a bar's (fully internal) fliers.
Second, the story is not well written or researched. "Others in the Chinese-American community" are cited more than once, though precisely who these "others" are is unclear. What IS clear is that the author (or editor) is inflating the reporting that was not done in the first place. Four people, including the owner of the bar, were interviewed. As noted in the other comments, one of these people appears to be racist herself. How does that make her an expert? If you are racist, you can correctly identify racism? Further, the Chinese New Year was celebrated in many places in and around Raleigh. Did the reporter contact any other establishments? How did their events compare to this bar's? If you are so concerned about how some people are celebrate a cultural holiday, perhaps other holidays and celebrations should also be scrutinized. Or maybe we shouldn't celebrate them at all.
Third, you've basically provided this bar free advertising. This flier was only distributed within the bar itself. Now it's been published in print and on your website. The Independent is a free paper, which means all your revenue comes from advertising, right? How much does that usually cost a client?
Finally, as a regular patron of this bar, I suggest you pull your newsstand from its lobby. I can assure you, I will no longer be picking up a copy of the Independent there, nor anywhere else, for that matter. I imagine many of my fellow customers would agree.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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