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“It’s my job as an editor to see around corners, to look at all the possible meanings and nuances of words and of images,” writes Boston Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen. “It’s my job and two weeks ago I failed at it miserably” when the above cartoon got into the paper.

The artist who drew it – “a decent and honorable and utterly guileless man who gets an image lodged in his brain” – saw a tube of watermelon toothpaste that his kids left on a bathroom counter before he went to work. Cohen and cartoonist Jerry Holbert didn’t see a problem with the sketch, but why didn’t someone else at the paper raise an eyebrow?

On the night in question — the night the cartoon appeared on a page proof, the proof was not left in the proper bin. No senior news editor ever saw it.

And every evening the publisher gets a copy of the editorials sent to his email — not the images — only the words.

So there you have it. The remarkably simple way in which bad stuff can happen.

Longtime Boston media critic Dan Kennedy says “kudos to Cohen for a straightforward, no-excuses apology, and to the Herald’s management for coming to grips with a serious lapse in a serious manner.”

* How a hurtful cartoon made it into the Boston Herald (bostonherald.com)
* Herald editorial page editor issues a heartfelt apology (wgbhnews.org)
* October 1: Yes, this ran in today’s Boston Herald (jimromenesko.com)




In what is being called a “historic agreement,” Teamsters unanimously approved a plan Sunday to have the Boston Globe print and deliver the Boston Herald. About 50 jobs will be lost. Herald publisher Patrick Purcell says:

The cooperation among the Herald, Globe and Teamsters Local Union 259 is unprecedented in Boston, recognizing that it makes sound financial sense to consolidate print and delivery functions.

Media companies are facing numerous challenges, and a streamlined approach to operations will ensure the economic viability of both newspapers and allow each of us to serve our readers and advertisers with a distinct voice.

Boston Globe publisher Christopher Mayer says in a statement that “although a Globe subsidiary already distributes some copies of the Herald, the deal reflects a heightened level of cooperation between the two organizations with benefits to each.”

* Herald, Globe reach printing, distribution deal (Herald)
* Boston Globe, Herald strike deal on distribution (Globe)

Boston Globe story from Nov. 2, 2010“Frank: Voters reaffirmed ‘political irrelevance’ of the Boston Herald”

From today’s Herald
“I guess we’re even now, huh, congressman?”

“A thin-skinned curmudgeon”

“The mouth that roared”

…and more.