Suffolk Journal apologizes for profane headline

Editors of Suffolk University’s Suffolk Journal tell readers:

In today’s issue of The Journal, we published an inappropriate sub-headline in the article “SLI Involvement Fair a success.” We want to apologize profusely for the mistake and make it clear that we in no way harbor ill feelings towards the Student Leadership and Involvement Office, nor any of the students and staff that work there. The sub-head was put in as a joke, by editors, that unfortunately slipped through our editing process later in the night. We want to make it clear that the reporter who wrote the article had no idea or anything to do with the subhead.

Nobody answered the newsroom phone when I called this morning. I’ve left a message, hoping to get campus reaction to “the mistake” and the apology. (ABOUT PAGE: “The Journal consists of 10 editors, 2 advisers, and a staff of 25 writers, photographers, videographers, and copy editors.”)

* Suffolk Journal’s ‘Dumb Fuckers’ typo prompts apology



  1. I’m a big fan of typing profanity like a madwoman and then deleting it. Great therapy.

  2. One paper I worked at years ago had a true story about how the words “Mayor Sleazy” made it into a story because the reporter believed the harried editor would catch it, laugh and change it. That did not happen.

    Similarly, when editing systems began incorporating “notes” modes that allowed reporters to point something out to editors, or editors to ask reporters questions, there occasionally be a glitch in the matrix that allowed something unintended to get into print.

    The bottom line is don’t mess around and certainly don’t take chances. Not only is it egregiously careless and damaging to the credibility of the publication, but it also reflects badly on every single person employed at the publication.

  3. TA Hembree said:

    You no follow ‘de rules, you no play ‘da game. Capice?

  4. R Thomas Berner said:

    Around Easter, a reporter once turned in an obit for Jesus H. Christ, which I piked. The next year he turned in a story about a gravesite at a local cemetery being emptied and my replacement missed the joke. Reporter was lucky to keep his job.

  5. Bill Reader said:

    I must cover this at least a half dozen times a term in my News Editing courses: “NEVER, EVER joke around with placeholder text. Just type a line of X’s — that way, if it slips through, you’ll only be embarrassing yourself.”

    It isn’t just student newspapers or the papers in small towns and second-tier cities, though. About a decade ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer apparently produced a spoof page for a retiring Opinion staffer, and the text block disparaging letters-to-the-editor made it into the real edition. Ouch.