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Newspaper's Botched Front Page Goes Down In Headline History

For the wrong reason.
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A botched headline on the front page of a local newspaper in England will be forever remembered. But not for a reason its editors would want.

This week, the Cambridge News went to press with this headline:

Front page ready to go? You checked it?
Yeah, it’s good. @CambridgeNewsUK pic.twitter.com/YqazwkQ7ZZ

— Gareth Marlow (@GarethMarlow) December 6, 2017

It should have read ”£2m FOR ‘SEX LAIR’ SCHOOL.”

Instead, it contained the place-holding text of “100PT SPLASH HEADING HERE.” Two photographs on the page were captioned correctly.

Someone shared a photograph of the blunder to Twitter, and it went viral:

You won’t be laughing when you get hit by the 100 pt splash that is heading towards Cambridge. They tried to warn you..,

— Simon Barnes (@sibarnes2000) December 6, 2017

If you think you’re having a bad day, just think how the editor of the Cambridge News must be feeling....😱

— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) December 6, 2017

Wow. It’s real. This’ll be featured in newspaper sub-editing courses for years. And available at all good newsagents near you today, folks. pic.twitter.com/JS8YpuedVW

— Chris Rand (@ChrisRandWrites) December 6, 2017

David Bartlett, the publication’s editor-in-chief, apologized to readers via a statement on its website.

It “happened due to a technical problem,” Bartlett said. “We are still looking into how this happened and want our readers to know we take this seriously.”

We would like to sincerely apologise for the technical problem that caused the main headline to not appear on the Cambridge edition, although the correct one was printed on the Cambourne News

— Cambridge News (@CambridgeNewsUK) December 6, 2017

The mistake caused much hilarity, but former Cambridge News reporter Alice Hutton highlighted how it was symptomatic of widespread cuts to the United Kingdom’s newspaper industry.

“You may think this error is funny (and who doesn’t look a good subbing error?) but in this case you are laughing at the dismantling of local democracy, the ability to fight for communities and the loss of dozens of livelihoods,” Hutton wrote on Twitter.

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Lee Moran

Trends Editor, HuffPost

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