The best of Lower Case 2016

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

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





Albuquerque Journal, 2012 via Laura Marrich


Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 12.15.54 PM.png

The Daily Independent, Kentucky 7/30/2016, via Joel L. Thompson ‏@LifeInsFinder


Florida Times-Union, 10/2/16


Vanity Fair’s Hive 8/29/16


KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City, Okla., 8/6/16



The Local, 8/2/16

tv-body.png, 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

Submitted anonymously


The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, 7/7/2016

Want to see more regrettable headlines? Check out the Lower Case archives.

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The Editors are the staffers of the Columbia Journalism Review.