Daily Telegraph issues second apology regarding decolonisation article

Image credit: Michael Behrend

The Daily Telegraph has today printed a second apology concerning their coverage of Cambridge students' efforts to decolonise the English Literature curriculum, acknowledging that, contrary to the implications of the piece they ran on October 25th, "the [open letter by students] called only for black authors to be included, not for white writers to be replaced". 

The apology, an 11-line statement, was headed 'Lola Olufemi', and was included in the Corrections and Clarifications element of the paper. Concerns had been raised by the University over the Telegraph's coverage of the decolonisation story, with widespread condemnation of the use of a photograph of Olufemi, the Women's Officer who penned the open letter, on the front page, and the suggestion that Cambridge was being pressured by students to reject white authors in favour of black authors. The letter written by Olufemi stated "this is not a call for the exclusion of white men from reading lists...it is a call to re-centre the lives of other marginalized writers who have been silenced by the canon."

The apology today follows another issued the day following the article, which stressed the letter contained "recommendations" rather than "forced" policy, and also made reference to the letter's content, clarifying that there were "no plans" to "replace" white writers with black writers. This first apology, which did not mention Olufemi by name, was celebrated by the student on Twitter as a "small [victory]". Olufemi also responded on Twitter to the second apology, claiming it was "feeble and inadequate", though stressed that "the important thing is that the work continues despite blatant intellectual dishonesty." 

However, the Telegraph are yet to edit their online version of the article, which currently states "Cambridge University’s English Literature professors could replace white authors with black writers, following proposals put forward by academic staff in response to student demands to “decolonise” the curriculum."


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