If we had to pick one CJR tradition in particular that has survived and thrived in the digital age, it’s The Lower Case, our weekly look at unfortunate, cringe-worthy, or ironic headlines.
It turns out headlines can be just as awkward and occasionally inappropriate on digital stories and social-media posts, even though these days we have to catch them before a sneaky editor covers up the evidence (alas, there’s no more paper trail). Luckily, our readers continue to help us out, delivering screenshots of Lower Case offenders to our inbox at email@example.com.
The editors who wrote these headlines probably would prefer a do-over, but they should take heart: All of us can all learn from headlines gone wrong, and hopefully enjoy a chuckle in the process. Here are some highlights from 2016, including classics from the archives:
Louisville Courier-Journal, 7/9/15
Submitted by David C. Miller
Pretty cool picture of my nephew Andrew at game last night and caption-But the headline below picture is hilarious pic.twitter.com/zl2VZwhi5q
— David Morissette (@Davemorissett43) July 27, 2016
Every once in a while, it’s possible to summarize an entire historical moment in six words. pic.twitter.com/BwjbOStmvf— David Sessions (@davidsess) October 13, 2016
Goat war: an apology. pic.twitter.com/aGLyfAOkLn— Guardian style guide (@guardianstyle) August 1, 2016
The Local, 8/2/16
Wfmj.com, Youngstown, Ohio, 7/4/16
Eugene Register-Guard, 6/21/16
Submitted by Bill Goetz, Eugene, Oregon
St. Louis Business Journal, 6/15/16
Submitted by Tim Rank from Belleville, Illinois
Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania), 4/27/16
Submitted by Richard Dettman
Business Editor, CKWX News 1130
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The New York Times, 3/30/16
Submitted by Richard Knee, San Francisco, California
The Jerusalem Post, 3/14/16
Favorite headline of week. He pitches righty, lefty — and evidently, also underwater. Faces Aquaman in next outing. pic.twitter.com/efxaQxFp8Z— Neill Woelk (@NeillWoelk) June 8, 2015
Want to see more regrettable headlines? Check out the Lower Case archives.