Monday, April 6, 2009

Oops! BYU Daily Universe Accidentally Captions Conference Photo "Quorum Of The Twelve Apostates"

Post updated to include KSL Channel 5 news video.

The Brigham Young University newspaper The Daily Universe committed a world-class faux pas on Monday April 6th, 2009 when it put out an edition with a photo captioned "Quorum of the Twelve Apostates". As a result, The Daily Universe took the extraordinary step of recalling all its 18,500 copies from newsstands around campus and the community to reprint the entire 14-page issue, and also posted a public apology online. According to NewsNet IT director Daryl Gibson, it is the first time the paper has been pulled because of a news error in his more than 30 years of working at BYU. Full story from The Daily Universe. Now picked up by the Deseret News and KSL Channel 5; news video embedded below. Discussion on

Video Courtesy of

The error appeared in a photo caption referring to activities at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this past weekend. The caption read in part, “Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities raise their hands in a sustaining vote...”. [Ed. Note: Big hat tip to Laura Miller for the photo]

It appears the error was inadvertent, according to Rich Evans, editorial manager for The Daily Universe. “Our copy editor in charge of the front page, who was under deadline pressure, was using spell check on her page and had misspelled the word apostle”, Evans said. “One of the first options that came up on InDesign’s spell check suggestions was the word apostate. Unfortunately that’s the one she clicked on. It still should have been caught by two more levels of review after that, but again with deadline looming, the worst possible thing happened”.

Once the mistake was noticed, all available copies of the newspaper were removed from the racks and replaced with a sign directing students to view the paper online, according to Brad Rawlins, chair of the Department of Communications. Rawlins said they would reprint the paper and re-stock racks with the corrected version by Monday afternoon. Rawlins also said, "We don’t think this error is glib or cute or humorous. We understand people will take offense to the error. We ourselves are offended as a department for this error. We have a deep regret that it appeared in today’s paper.”

A few people were a bit piqued. “I think people need to proofread better,” said Elizabeth Kent, a pre-business management major from Malad, Idaho. “But I don’t know how many people will notice.” However, there has been no official reaction from Temple Square; the Brethren probably got a big laugh over it.


MotherToMany said...

I love it! Thanks for blogging about this.

Jack Mormon said...

Glad you enjoyed it. When I first spotted it on Monday night, I couldn't believe it. I laughed so hard it hurt. And I bet most of the Quorum of the Twelve laughed as hard.

Somebody somewhere suggested that it might have been a world-class senior prank by a student reporter on the newspaper.