It can happen to anyone.
It’s the first day of work in the new year for many people, but things are already going wrong at the Toronto Star. Somehow, an errant S turned what would have been a perfectly acceptable deck into, well, something else. The Star‘s public editor Kathy English acknowledged the error on Twitter Tuesday morning, calling it an “unfortunate production mistake.”
Just three days into 2017, this incident looks like a strong contender for media blunder of the year. But it’s far from the first time errors have made it to print—and it won’t be the last. For the sake of some perspective, here are a few past screw-ups and print controversies from Toronto-area media.
1. Correction inception at the Toronto Sun
The Toronto Sun had their hearts in the right place when they issued a correction on a 2012 column. But as then-Globe and Mail media reporter Steve Ladurantaye pointed out, there was something not quite right about the text.
2. Globe and Mail takes figure skating flak
In 2013, a front-page photo of 17-year-old figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond unleashed a storm of controversy, with some readers complaining that the image was “too revealing.” While Osmond herself said she didn’t mind the photo, Globe public editor Sylvia Stead later weighed in and said the photo choice was “unacceptable.”
3. Make apostrophes great again
Sometimes an apostrophe is all that separates us from disaster. In 2015, the Globe and Mail issued a correction to clarify that Hillary Clinton had not tweeted, as the article quoted, “Love Trump’s hate,” but “Love trumps hate.”
4. Metro goes balls-out
Back in 2009, Metro Toronto published a Canadian Press photo of some Peterborough high school kids frolicking in a hot tub at the annual Santa Claus parade. What they apparently didn’t notice was the male student in the photo—shown here, strategically cropped—“appears to have his penis out.”
5. The Toronto Sun kills Bruno
As Torontoist wrote at the time of publication of this 2009 Toronto Sun cover, the interplay between the ad and the hammer headline is “too unfortunate not to post.”
6. Breaking Brampton crime news
This Brampton Guardian “layout fail” has made the viral internet rounds many times over, but the inadvertently hilarious photo-headline juxtaposition never stops being funny.