Tag Archives: Funny

Journalism’s own goals and gaffes 2010

Making light of others’ mistakes is fraught with danger, and will often come back to haunt you when you make your own.

But that doesn’t stop us or anybody else, it seems. Schadenfreude is all the rage. So, here are just a few of our favourite own goals and gaffes from 2010, in no particular order. We would include some of our own but we don’t make any, obviously… Please feel free to add any you remember in comments or on Twitter to @journalismnews.

1. Telegraph cocks-up Hadron headline

One of those errors in which the sub concentrates so hard on not making one particular mistake that they make exactly that mistake. Either that, or it’s Friday afternoon and they think a good laugh is worth the grief sure to follow.

Screenshot by Skepchick on Flickr

2. Times Online caught up in awkward byline scandal

Not really a scandal this, I suppose, or an outright error, but we think it qualifies as gaffe to put Roger Boyes on your Catholic Church-boys choir-sex abuse story. Dear the Times, he may be your Vienna correspondent, but perhaps he shouldn’t be.

3. Brighton Argus’ new out-of-town subs fall at the first hurdle

Following weeks of protest over Newsquest laying off local subs at the Brighton Argus and centralising news subbing 60 miles away in Southampton, the out-of-towners made a slight mistake on their first day.

Rumour has it that the following day – and I kid you not – the paper almost went to print calling itself “the Argos”. Although not on the masthead, we understand. Unfortunately for this list, it got caught just in time. Allegedly.

4. Slow news day in Ohio?

The story that has it all.

5. Sun runs explosive advert with Moscow terrorist bombings story

Advert placement has been a rich source of gaffery in the past, but back in March the Sun used all the technological wizardry available to it to launch this advertising cock-up into a league of its own

6. Headline mishaps continue at Johnston Press and Newsquest titles

Speaking of rich sources of gaffery, to the notorious content management system from Atex. This tremendous CMS, dear to the hearts of regional journalists up and down the country, has caused so many headline and image mishaps that we would be remiss not to include a sample. Don’t miss an insightful standfirst and pull quote either.

7. Wanky Balls festival: Wikipedia-reading journalists welcome

Much fun was had back in August when someone at the Indy was caught red-handed pilfering from Wikipedia. Many, many journalists must have done it, but this unlucky one happened to plagiarise some, well, total wanky balls.

Image courtesy of Political Scrapbook.

Hannah Waldram has kindly pointed out that in our haste we missed a rather recent, rather spectacular double gaffe from Jim Naughtie and Andrew Marr. Although we undoubtedly missed many on our short list, we feel that Messrs Naughtie and Marr definitely deserve a place.

Here is Naughtie introducing the culture secretary with flawless anunication….

…and Andrew Marr trying to beat him at his own game:

Merry Christmas subs, editors and reporters everywhere, keep up the good work!

Overheard something humorous in your newsroom?

They say the first few weeks after Christmas are the most depressing days of the entire year. So as you sit hunched over your keyboard nursing a steaming mug of mud-like coffee, you might welcome the odd spot of workplace banter.

If your office fails to bring such joy, then check out ‘Overheard In the Newsroom’ (thanks to Sports Designer for pointing this out).

It does exactly what it says on the tin, bringing interesting and humorous comments made by newsroom colleagues direct to your desktop. Stunners like number 70: “Sure wish we knew what the hell we’re talking about” are sure to resound with every demotivated reporter in a mid-Monday slump.

US elections: CNN’s ‘magic map’ gets spoofed on Saturday Night Live

While reviewing the best online coverage of election day, CNN’s press office dropped us a line about the ‘magic board’ – a map of the states which will be used by presenter John King to show the results and forecasts as they come in.

For anyone who loves/loathes a good swing-o-meter, here’s Saturday Night Live’s take on it:

‘Making light of a bad situation’ – CNN report gets pranked by kissing couple

A CNN report from outside collapsed investment bank Lehman Brothers was on the receiving end of a prank from the Howard Stern show yesterday.

In an unlikely segue, the channel’s anchor said the two men kissing in the background of the live report were ‘obviously trying to make light of a bad situation, pretending to “console each other” out there’.

According to the New York Observer, the pair ‘making out’ were in fact Stern Show employees Richard Christy and Sal Governale.

Bloomberg runs false obituary for Apple’s Steve Jobs

The death of Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs was prematurely announced yesterday afternoon by Bloomberg.

A pre-prepared stock obituary was accidentally posted to Bloomberg’s corporate client wire service, even through the story was marked ‘Hold for release – Do not use’.

It was quickly spotted by a user, and sent to Gawker.com, where the obituary can still be read in full.

Bloomberg was quick to retract the story, and yesterday published a message on its wire saying: “An incomplete story referencing Apple Inc. was inadvertently published by Bloomberg News at 4:27 p.m.New York time today.”

At Telegraph.co.uk Matthew Moore reports: “The stock obituary was published ‘momentarily’ after a routine update by a reporter, and was ‘immediately deleted’, Bloomberg said.”

According to Moore, ‘Jobs has been reluctant to publicly discuss his health, but recently denied claims that his cancer [from which he has previously suffered] had returned’.

Sky News on Georgia – let’s start with a geography lesson…

Sky News’ online section ‘Georgia In Depth’ is an aggregation of pictures, articles and info about the eastern European country, which borders with Russia, as part of coverage of the current conflict in the region

So that’s the Georgia between sandwiched between Europe and Asia and not the US state then?

If you’re going to use Wikipedia, at least get the right entry. Thank goodness for the disclaimer… it’s no one’s fault!

(Also, why does the site publish Wikipedia excerpts at all if, as the disclaimer suggests, Sky News has little faith in their accuracy?)