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Headline blunder is not the first newspaper mistake to meet with mockery

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Thursday, December 7, 2017 – 11:45am

Local newspaper Cambridge News has been left red-faced after an issue went on sale with an instruction for staff in place of a front-page headline.

Instead of the intended headline for its lead story, the paper went to press with: “100pt splash heading here” emblazoned on the cover, a reference to the intended font size.

The correct headline was “£2m for ‘sex lair’ school” in reference to a council grant to a local academy whose previous head was accused of keeping sex toys in his office.

In a statement, Cambridge News editor-in-chief David Bartlett said: “I want to apologise sincerely to our readers for this mistake, which happened due to a technical problem.

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

The unfortunate oversight quickly drew attention on social media:

Even the BBC got in on the act:

While Cambridge News editors were no doubt cringing over the error, but it could have been worse. In March 2017 edition of the Lancashire Telegraph went to press with both a placeholder headline and an entire article of Latin gibberish.

It’s not just the big gaffes that can cause headaches for editors – this unfortunate headline from the Kansas Pratt Tribune demonstrates the importance of the humble hyphen:

While unfortunate wording was the undoing of another headline, this one in the Gloucestershire Echo:

A much-mocked CNN headline from February 2016 appeared to suggest that refugee crisis panic had prompted Australia to forget its own geography:

The story actually referred to a far more plausible fence between Slovenia and Austria.

And then there was the time the Irish Herald accompanied a sports story about Man United strikes Romelu Lukaku with a picture of grime artist Stormzy:

Sometimes the words are fine and the pictures are fine, just… not together:

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