AddThis SmartLayers

Horizontal Jobs Scroller

Latest Jobs Call 01332 895994 to advertise here

Regional daily apologises to readers after front page blunder goes viral

A regional daily editor has apologised to readers after today’s edition went to print without its splash headline.

Today’s Cambridge News, which is printed overnight, hit the news stands with the stock headline ‘100pt splash heading here.’

The blunder swiftly went viral on social media with other editors calling it a case of “there but for the grace of God…”

Editor-in-chief David Bartlett has now apologised to readers, pointing out that the correct headline had appeared in the paper’s Cambourne edition.

CNewsfront

The headline that appeared in the Cambridge edition of today’s Cambridge News

 

NEW-Cambourne-News-front-pageJPG

…and how it should have appeared, as seen in the paper’s Cambourne edition.

Said David: “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.”

While such errors have been known to occur on the inside pages of newspapers, it is rare for it to happen with a front page.

The error was swiftly picked up on social media after Cambridge-based blogger Chris Rand tweeted the image with the comment: “This’ll be featured in newspaper sub-editing courses for years.

John Elworthy, editor of the rival Cambs Times, possibly summed up the feelings of many in the industry by commenting: “There but for the grace of God!”

KM Group editorial director Ian Carter added: “Well, if you’re going to do it you might as well do it in style I guess.”

But former Croydon Advertiser reporter Gareth Davies, now working for The Bureau Local, attempted to make light of the blunder.

“We’ve all been quick to mock but maybe the joke’s on us and Cambridge is about to be hit by a tsunami,” he commented.

23 comments

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • December 6, 2017 at 11:58 am
    Permalink

    Why on earth was this not spotted by the printers? Surely they have to be liable for this too

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(39)
  • December 6, 2017 at 12:05 pm
    Permalink

    This is end of days stuff. Are we saying that nobody in the newsroom looked at the front page before it was sent to print?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(49)
  • December 6, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    Permalink

    Can understand it when the odd caption or briefs headline buried well within the paper sneaks through like that (although it’s not good even then) but this is an incredible miss where, as said in previous comments, it should surely have been picked up at some stage in the process.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(22)
  • December 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    Permalink

    Blogger Chris Rand says: ‘This will be featured in newspaper sub-editing courses for years.’
    Hasn’t he/she heard? Sub-editors are a critically endangered species. I don’t think there will be any courses for them.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(54)
  • December 6, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    Permalink

    Also wondering what the point of changing out the front page is when the leading pictures and presumably the lead story are exactly the same?

    Presumably the ‘technical problem’ is a template fail?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(16)
  • December 6, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    Permalink

    I guess that somewhere along the line – perhaps when it was being closed for the final time – the finished page crashed and reverted to its previously-saved state. But agree with others – somebody, somewhere at the printers should still have picked it up. However, this is what you get for ever-increasing centralisation.
    Mind, the Cambourne News splash headline does not exactly sit well with the top left-hand image.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(16)
  • December 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    Permalink

    Aren’t those Cambourne News readers lucky? Lucky apart from the splash being about a town 20 miles away towards Peterborough, which villagers wouldn’t relate to in the slightest.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(23)
  • December 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm
    Permalink

    This wouldn’t have happened when it was printed at Milton because they actually wanted to read the paper at press as opposed to it being just another commodity with no one interested. It would’ve also been spotted by distribution but again peanuts and monkeys an all that

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(19)
  • December 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm
    Permalink

    You could almost believe it was a strange PR stunt to get people to buy it and talk about it for curiosity value. That said, it would be interesting to know what this blunder cost them in lost sales and reputation.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(13)
  • December 6, 2017 at 4:20 pm
    Permalink

    On top of all the comments above, it’s a terrible format for a front page generally. Those two picture puffs (“Hollywood cast…” and “Ollie ready…”) should be a fraction of the size, with more space given over to more relevant material like the opening half of the splash and maybe a front-page picture story. But with so few editorial staff remaining, I suppose many papers can’t generate enough copy and pictures to fill the space more appropriately

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(15)
  • December 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm
    Permalink

    This is a monumental editorial gaff, but not an uncommon one. We all know that this sort of thing happens regularly. It’s just that it’s almost always spotted somewhere along the line.

    No paper in the land should send page one without it being checked two or three times, irrespective of the staffing level.

    But even if this does get through for some strange reason, there is absolutely no excuse for it being printed.

    Who are the printers? Is it printed in-house, or with another publisher?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • December 6, 2017 at 4:56 pm
    Permalink

    @Jimbledon – Not many places have templates for fronts and inside pages which both take a turn; in an age of fewer staff it’s a simplified way of doing things. Plus – as Archant is very good with what it calls ‘concept fronts’ on its dailies – it means you don’t need both a splash and a page lead inside, so you require one less story.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(10)
  • December 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm
    Permalink

    We in glass houses should never throw stones – even a literal breaks my heart – but that is truly shocking.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(5)
  • December 6, 2017 at 6:04 pm
    Permalink

    In july TM axed the editorial design team which says a lot when sort of things happens. You can try to blame the printers but its done to who ever actually layouts the page.

    Its laughable how the editor blames “a technical issue” first local world hacked away the staff then when Trinity mirror took over they took an even big axe to the staffing levels. I wouldn’t be surprised if the CN is made into a weekly or killed off and made into online only (which TM love doing)

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(9)
  • December 6, 2017 at 6:14 pm
    Permalink

    Also I was getting lunch at Morrisons at Cambourne today and they only had the Cambridge News on display!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(8)
  • December 6, 2017 at 7:11 pm
    Permalink

    @voice of reason

    I’m sure it moved to Mirror press in Watford so it is in house. That said if it’s coming off at old press times then they are going hell for leather to get it done before the Nationals and City AM which are pretty time sensitive so you could imagine it gets rushed on and out as opposed to Milton who treated it like gold.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)
  • December 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm
    Permalink

    Why does it need that instruction anyway?
    This used to be an excellent paper where some staff went to nationals.
    Shame it happened to them.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(5)
  • December 6, 2017 at 7:46 pm
    Permalink

    To all those saying why wasn’t it picked up by the printers, it was picked up by the printers and queried with CN, a TM paper printed by TM.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)
  • December 6, 2017 at 9:27 pm
    Permalink

    One-Time Sub – Cambridge News is owned by Trinity Mirror not Archant.
    There’s been an incredible exodus of experienced staff since the TM takeover of Local World and failure of Iliffe to take back the paper. Lots of people leaving by choice and lots leaving during several rounds of redundancies.
    The paper is printed at the TM print press at Watford. With so many other titles printed that night there probably isn’t an option to stop the press. The print press next to the CN office would have spotted the error, stopped the press and allowed the page to be resent.
    This isn’t the first error like this at CN. They’ve had similar ones on inside pages over the last month or so following the switch from Atex to Tera.
    The Cambridge News was for a long time the top performing daily for retaining circulation at Local World and Trinity Mirror. Now it’s a laughing stock.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(15)
  • December 6, 2017 at 10:40 pm
    Permalink

    This is what happens when you get rid of experienced, respected and competent staff.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(14)
  • December 7, 2017 at 7:08 am
    Permalink

    Ah yes the old pretentiously titled ‘ concept fronts’ @one time sub, don’t we all love those.
    Time was when the main story sold the paper to the casual buyer but with ‘concept fronts’ even that last vestige of originality and locality has been eroded, we even had a paid for weekly wrapped by a four page promotion for a local clothes shop last week which hammers yet another nail in the coffin of a once popular weekly paper now grabbing any money it can get whilst eroding what little credibility and value it once had.
    The front page should be the shop window to sell the paper, sadly now it just advertises how dire things have become

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(15)
  • December 7, 2017 at 10:21 am
    Permalink

    Archie , talking of front pages. I am looking forward to my local paper doing a bit better this seasonal time than the early December 2016 splash “Christmas is Coming.” Someone wasn’t trying very hard that day.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(9)
  • December 7, 2017 at 10:23 am
    Permalink

    Paul Holden- “even a literal breaks my heart.
    Heavens there are some real professionals that still care around.
    You must be over 40.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(10)

House rules Add a comment

You now need to be logged-in to our site in order to comment on stories. Please login or register using the buttons below or login via Facebook or Twitter.

Register

Advanced search

View Jobs by Category

Job Alerts Please log in or register to sign up for job alerts