“It’s not very often that a newspaper becomes the subject of its own news,” said DiMarkco Chandler. Today was one of those days at the Guardian Liberty Voice, one of the nation’s newest online newspapers. Founded in February, 2012, DiMarkco Chandler is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian Liberty Voice, as well as MARSocial online news and Frackle.com.
Chandler launched the Guardian Liberty Voice with a specific set of goals that included being the most boldly inclusive newspaper that has ever existed. With a reputation for being a “reckless and innovative thinker,” Chandler has been quoted as saying, “I am primarily interested in writing about issues that expand inclusivity and people’s right to have a platform of expression. Ultimately, the publications that I co-founded will provide and maintain a platform for all voices, regardless of their social-economic, political, and religious differences.”
Today, on Martin Luther King Day, the Guardian Liberty Voice staff found itself confronted with “a situation.” At issue: an article was published today that was based on the notion that Johnny Depp had bought expensive jewelry in an attempt to seduce would-be paramour, Amber Heard, thus curing her of bisexuality.
After convening with the editorial staff, Chandler issued this apology:
“Today an article was published in our online newspaper, and we regret this error. On behalf of myself, DiMarkco Chandler, and the editorial staff, we would like to issue this apology to our readers and to everyone. The Guardian Liberty Voice wants to say a few things in response to this inadvertent mistake.
No matter what happens in life, we can always turn it around and make it a positive experience if we try hard enough. What happened today is an opportunity for the Guardian Liberty Voice to grow and improve its reputation among our readers. This online newspaper would never casually print inflammatory, hurtful, or humiliating text aimed at any one person or group.
As a newspaper with the mission of becoming the most boldly inclusive newspaper possible, we will always make mistakes and have to correct for them. We will always be faced with the perpetual tension between the right to freedom of speech and the virtues of decorum and good form. We are exactly the place to find opposing political points of view published side by side. We do not need to have our favor bought by any persuasion, political or otherwise, and since we are not dominated by any localized advertising interests like the brick and mortar newspapers of old that preceded us, we are capable of becoming a boldly inclusive platform for 21st century communication. However, we will not do so, thoughtlessly, at the expense of anyone’s pride or respect.
We want to make the following statement as a matter of record, and then we will carry on publishing our online newspaper with the same passion that we bring to it every single day, 24/7.
Today an article titled, Johnny Depp Has Found the Cure for Amber Heard’s Bisexuality, Diamonds, was published in our newspaper. We apologize to Johnny Depp, to Amber Heard, and to anyone who may have been offended by this sensationalized attempt to garner eyeballs. We deeply and honestly regret this happening because we know of no scientific information implying that one’s sexuality is a disease that can be cured. Furthermore, whether bisexual, gay, or heterosexual, the Guardian Liberty Voice would never purposely seek to humiliate any person or group for any reason, and we ask that our 6 million+ readers accept our apology for this unfortunate incident.
As soon as the article was published, DiMarkco Chandler began hearing about it. An internal investigation was launched immediately. In an editorial staff meeting this afternoon the subject was the focus of intense discussion. The article has since been removed.
Our hearts and prayers go out to anyone and everyone who may have been offended by the article’s statements or sentiments. The article did not reflect our editorial opinion as a whole or the newspaper’s stance as a public organization.
We are developing a new company policy in order to deal with this issue, and prevent similar occurrences.”
Rebecca Savastio, a co-founder, editor, and writer, said “we just need to make sure and address all the angles on this so we can prevent something like this from happening again without curtailing the right to free speech.” In an internal email, Savastio pointed out, “We need to clarify, anyone can write almost any opinion they want, and place it in the blog section. That is freedom of speech. At the same time, we cannot let people write things that are blatantly wrong, hurtful, or unscientific either, even if they believe it is true.” As of this afternoon, editors Rebecca Savastio and Heather Pilkinton posted apologies online for the newspaper.
The irony of being the nation’s boldly inclusive online newspaper, and having to apologize for speech that was a little too free, did not escape DiMarkco Chandler. He was adamant about issuing several apologies quickly, but he was also quick to say that, “the Guardian Liberty Voice must always take a passionate stance that acknowledges the constant tension between the right to freedom of speech and the need for representing compassion and proper form in an open society.”
“We pledge to never back down from these kinds of issues,” he continued, “always representing the utter necessity for being boldly inclusive without succumbing to the debasement or humiliation of any one person or group in society as a matter of course.”
“Today is Martin Luther King Day, and it is a good day to say that the whole point of launching the Guardian Liberty Voice has been to promote discovery, self-discovery and social-discovery, of the most meaningful issues in our daily lives, the issues and concerns that are shared by all human beings on the planet. The Guardian Liberty Voice is out to become the most boldly inclusive newspaper that has ever existed, and with that ambition we acknowledge today that there comes a tremendous responsibility that we will never shirk, back away from, or avoid.”
The Guardian Liberty Voice is barely two years old, but it is already ranked among the Top 100 news agencies on the planet, and it has a readership trending 6 million+ readers per month, making it one of the fastest growing online newspapers.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
The Guardian Liberty Voice