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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Badger Herald: Worst newspaper on campus

As soon as the Wisconsin Badgers were officially proclaimed Rose Bowl bound by ESPN on Sunday night, students raced to the athletics website's 9 p.m. sale—snowballing ticket purchases into a campus-wide controversy. The 5,800 tickets allocated to the university sold out in just 20 minutes, predictably inspiring outrage and frustration among those not lucky enough to gain access. Fueling this frustration was the immediate sale of tickets online through the Facebook marketplace, prompting a flood of hateful comments toward those selling their tickets.

But the most shocking expression of this frustration was The Badger Herald's article, ""The Worst People on Campus,"" in which the paper listed the names of over 30 students who, according to the paper, purchased tickets for the ""sole intention of profiting from them."" The paper went a step further by claiming that there is a ""special place in Hell"" for those selling tickets and asking readers to ""ridicule the ever-loving shit out of the above people."" The article led to a massive response of both disappointment and frustration by students listed in the article, and it caught the attention of news organizations at both the state and national level.

The Daily Cardinal aims to express its utmost contempt and disapproval of such an irresponsible publication. While the negativity toward those selling their tickets online was already present, the Herald's decision to single out 38 students has greatly magnified the issue. Multiple members of the list have received harassments, verbal attacks and death threats against both them and their families. In response, the Herald edited the online edition of their article and added an editor's note clarifying that the article was not a ""call to take action,"" but the author(s) know full well that by listing the names of a select group of students, repercussions are inevitable. Furthermore, condemning fellow students represents the exact lack of school spirit the article claims to campaign against.

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The Herald's first mistake, however, was to blindly assume that every student selling their ticket bought them solely for profit. After speaking with a few of the listed students, The Daily Cardinal found that many planned on attending the game but had to forfeit their tickets due to a lack of extra tickets for their group members or high costs of travel. The list created by the Herald was a random group of names compiled without contacting those listed, nor providing the decency to research their actual intent. Such laziness is far more fitting of a gossip column than a legitimate news source.

In response to the overwhelming attention toward the article, the Herald added yet another note to their online publication claiming that the list was meant as tongue-in-cheek humor while bringing attention to the issue of price gouging. Yet the wording of the article, both in print and online, suggests nothing of the sort. As for the issue at hand, any attention the Herald brought to ticket scalping is not worth a single student receiving a death threat. If the view of the paper is to be taken seriously, it must identify itself as such through responsible journalism.

Perhaps the most unfortunate mistake by the Herald is that this was a completely avoidable issue. A student selling Rose Bowl tickets for profit is a legitimate concern, but the Herald's approach resulted in unnecessary damage. The Cardinal insists that the management of the Herald immediately issue an apology to those listed and take down the article.

Meanwhile, students of UW need to stop callously threatening their fellow Badgers. Yes, it's the Rose Bowl, but ultimately they are just football tickets. If you are willing to harass and threaten someone over that, then you better deserve the title of one of the worst people on campus. All of us, particularly the management of The Badger Herald, would do well to remember that. 

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