In Monday’s Collegian, an article titled “Hookahs possibly linked to herpes” ran in this space. While the story accurately reported on a series of herpes cases seen at CSU’s Hartshorn Health center that came from “a local hookah bar,” according to Hartshorn, the story contained a photo of the front of Narghile Nights, one of only two hookah establishments in Fort Collins.
While the story did not implicate the business in the spreading of herpes, the owners, Aria Khosravi and Alan Blue, expressed concern that students might assume Narghile Nights was responsible for the spreading of herpes.
No reports have indicated at which business, specifically, students contracted herpes.
As journalists, we are ultimately responsible to the business owners and students to make sure the content of the paper was fairly represented. After talking with Khosravi and Blue, the Collegian would be remiss to only run yesterday’s page two clarification. Without reading the story, the photo is misleading, and equal play should be given to the clarification —- on page one, above the fold.
The photo was run to illustrate a popular pass time of many students; the photo could have just as easily been of Algiers, the other local hookah bar.
But considering Hartshorn’s implication of only “a local hookah bar,” either a photo of both establishments should have run, or the story should have run without a photo.
The Collegian apologizes for any confusion the photo may have caused.
It is also important to note that students can contract herpes by sharing drinks or straws, and yes, sharing hookah or other tobacco pipes.