JUST SCAN THE SUBHEAD…and you know this is big mistake. Never ever put on a page anything you wouldn’t want your grandma (or your granddaughters!) to read.
Years ago, I was told this story:
An editor at a small weekly thought he was above having to work with correspondent columns. You know the type of column I’m talking about: the kind where the correspondent tells the story of Aunt Ima’s sister’s son’s daughter “coming over for a weekend from college to visit with Aunt Ima and they went to church together and then out to Bessie’s Blue Ridge Restaurant for breakfast with the family of Barry and Bunny Bixler and the Bixler boys and…” well, you get the idea. Real “down home” stuff that some editors hate but many readers love.
The frustrated editor was trying to make sense of the column but had to leave to cover another story. Before he did, he slapped a “for position only” headline on it that read:
What the f–k
is this all about?
He had planned to get back to editing the column as soon as he returned.
While the editor was gone, a prepress staffer cleared the page. Seems they were in a hurry to get the page finished with its pair on the plate.
Yes, the headline appeared in the paper that week. No, the editor wasn’t fired. Should he have been? I’m not sure.