Cambridge News apologises over headline blunder

Image credit: Will Tilbrook

The front page of Cambridge News will serve as a warning to sub-editors forevermore, after the paper failed to realise that its front page had dummy text in place of the main headline until the morning after print. 

Instead of "£2m FOR 'SEX LAIR' SCHOOL", the headline was a reminder of font size for the writers saying "100PT SPLASH HEADING HERE".

The strapline read “THIS IS A STRAP OVER TWO DECKS WITH A CROSS REFERENCE TO A PAGE HERE”.

Although the blunder apparently went unnoticed and the paper made its way went to print and snuck its way into local shops today, reader were quick to flock to social media, mocking the sub-editors of Cambridge News and suggesting a headline competition.

Blogger Chris Rand was among the first to spot the dummy text, saying "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."

Editor-in-chief David Bartlett released an apology on the paper's website, saying it was uncertain how it had happened, and blaming the blunder on "a technical problem". 

“We are still looking into how this happened and want our readers to know we take this seriously.”

A further apology explained that the headline should have read "£2m FOR 'SEX LAIR' SCHOOL" in reference to a story printed on page 11 of today's Newspaper. 

The blunder, after being publicized on social media, has since gone viral.

BBC News reporter Alice Hutton, who previously worked at Cambridge News, tweeted: “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.

“The reporters who still work there now (and there aren’t many) work incredibly hard in a newsroom so empty of journalists, subs and sales staff that they have all moved on to a single floor. They break exclusives, hold power to account and lay out their own work and headlines.”

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