City Desk

GW Student Newspaper Releases April Fools’ Edition a Bit Early

The GW Hatchet has released their April Fools' issue a bit early this year, featuring fake stories about the school mascot undergoing torture, former VP Cheney taking over GW Hospital, and a fake Twitter account of their university president.

For the staffs of college newspapers, it's the one day of the year it's okay to just make stuff up.

April Fools' issues are often the most popular of the year, but they are also often the most controversial. The Student Press Law Center, an Arlington-based organization which offers free legal advice and information as well as low-cost educational materials for student journalists, has a post that mentions April Fools' Day and the fact that it fields more calls from students journalists on April 1 than on any other day of the year.

They gave a number of examples of articles written by different staffs and how serious some of the consequences.

But only the national publication, The Onion, which publishes a weekly parody newspaper, didn't have to endure a rash of protests, staff terminations, administrative censorship, publication thefts – and, in the case of the high school paper, the brief threat of legal action.

The Hatchet has taken some precautions on their website, making it clear in each and every story that the material is satirical.

Among the stories in the Hatchet's edition:

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  • Ted Scheinman

    Reader's note: This story is satirical in nature and published in a spoof issue.

    This totally defeats the purpose of a spoof issue.

  • Eleonora D’Arborea

    From the Student Press Law School list of examples: "Newspaper 2: A university student paper features several April Fools' Day spoofs, including a sex-advice column that advocates rape."

    Guess April Fools Day came a few weeks early for Dan Savage..... I knew that "get it in writing" advice had to be a joke.

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