December 6, 2017 3:29 PM   Subscribe

The Cambridge News, a small local paper thought they had a big, lurid headline splashed over their latest issue about "sex lair" schools. Instead, what they got was the printing instructions for the headline, in 100 point font as specified.

The newspaper has apologized for the error, blaming it on a "technical problem".
posted by NoxAeternum (26 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Well played BBC website editor
posted by figurant at 3:33 PM on December 6, 2017 [21 favorites]

posted by GenjiandProust at 3:34 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by chavenet at 3:41 PM on December 6, 2017 [13 favorites]

posted by Sys Rq at 3:45 PM on December 6, 2017 [31 favorites]

How will this impact Ollie vis-à-vis challenge readiness?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:47 PM on December 6, 2017

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer paper. That headline is better than their usual standard of journalism.
posted by stanf at 3:57 PM on December 6, 2017

posted by infini at 4:00 PM on December 6, 2017

posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:06 PM on December 6, 2017 [22 favorites]

Heh heh heh: My wife said: “What’s a hundred pint splash and why are you finding it so funny?”
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:06 PM on December 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

posted by infinitewindow at 4:17 PM on December 6, 2017 [9 favorites]

It works much better (worse?) when, like me, you read "HEADING" as a verb and not a noun.
posted by Dorinda at 4:26 PM on December 6, 2017

You should see their Stone Henge.
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:26 PM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

That's not the Cambridge Times, that's the Cambridge News -- which is a completely different paper from a completely different country.

Now, it's perfectly believable the Times would make that kind of an error, because it's the Times, so there was nothing to convince me that this wasn't a small, local paper in southern Ontario not a paper from the U.K.
posted by sardonyx at 4:30 PM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

posted by Ogre Lawless at 4:44 PM on December 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

oh god how did this get here i am not good with computer
posted by glonous keming at 5:10 PM on December 6, 2017 [11 favorites]

[Fixed newspaper name, because typos in a post about typos are up there with death and taxes. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:12 PM on December 6, 2017 [12 favorites]

god, how I love these sort of "official" printing mistakes. My personal fave being a paper that got its Far Side and Dennis the Menace punchlines switched*, and which I've noted around here previously.

it even gave birth to my fave personal catchphrase for monumental screw ups, as in, "Oops! Hamsters again."
posted by philip-random at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2017 [26 favorites]

Ahaha welp I have done something like this. In college, over the summer, in a display ad for a pet contest, a picture of the summer editor-in-chief was left in instead of the hedgehog that was supposed to run.

Also, a few years after I left, they labeled our dean of student life as Osama bin Laden.
posted by rewil at 6:14 PM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle.
posted by DanSachs at 6:40 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ooh ooh I have one! Many technical catalogs have a page just headed "MEMO", meaning "we use up a useless page and you get to make notes if you happen to care to do so." The layout editor equivalent added red pencil directions to change the font to Times New Roman; what he got was a catalog where the memo pages after every chapter were headed in 48-point type "ROMAN".
posted by huimangm at 7:20 PM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

On a related note, I used to edit technical documents, the kind that would have on any blank page a text box reading "This page intentionally left blank." It took me over four years to realize that I wasn't supposed to deleting those text boxes.
posted by General Malaise at 7:32 PM on December 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

My dad was a sub editor on a big Sunday paper in Australia. He put in a dummy headline on a story "HEDDING GOES HERE" (heading intentionally misspelled to make it more obvious that something needed to change) during layout with the intention that the editors would fill that in later. Of course they didn't, and it made it to print, and then was featured in "Media Watch".
posted by trialex at 7:58 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like to imagine one of the layout staff looking at the stupid, lurid headline they were supposed to put on the page about SCHOOLS THAT HAVE SEX LAIRS, shaking their head and saying, "I can't do it. I just can't."
posted by straight at 8:34 PM on December 6, 2017 [10 favorites]

A friend of mine used to work at Cambridge News, and made some salient points about this in a wee twitter thread. The gist is: laughing at sub-editing mistakes is great. However, this is also an indication of the breakdown of local news, which in turn removes one of the ways to hold local power to account.

This is an especially big problem in the UK, where elected community councillors have surprising amounts of power, but little obvious oversight.
posted by sarcas at 2:52 AM on December 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

This happened a couple times at my college paper while I was on staff. And there was a rumor around one of the papers I used to work at that a WW2 anniversary piece had been overly copy-edited to include a bit about the Enola Homosexual. Don't have any evidence of it, but the editor in charge of that correction had been on track for the news editor position and ended up sidelined in features or home and garden.

I know something similar happened with the AP and a report about runner Tyson Gay, though just on the web.
posted by msbrauer at 8:00 AM on December 7, 2017

Just in case anyone was wondering what the actual lede was about. (Very moderately NSFW) A Beeb article on the same subject has a video that shows something called "Rude Balloons", which absolutely should be a band name.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:38 AM on December 7, 2017

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