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 editors@cjr.org.

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:

shoot-well.png

Louisville Courier-Journal, 7/9/15

Submitted by David C. Miller

 

 

IMAG0033.jpg

 

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

CuFtvs4WEAEWY2K.jpg

Florida Times-Union, 10/2/16

name-image.png

Vanity Fair’s Hive 8/29/16

image1.PNG

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

 

cow.jpg

The Local, 8/2/16

tv-body.png

Wfmj.com, Youngstown, Ohio, 7/4/16

horse.jpg

Eugene Register-Guard, 6/21/16

Submitted by Bill Goetz, Eugene, Oregon

southwest.jpg

St. Louis Business Journal, 6/15/16

Submitted by Tim Rank from Belleville, Illinois

exeter.jpg

Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania), 4/27/16

clarity.jpg

 

Submitted by Richard Dettman
Business Editor, CKWX News 1130
Vancouver, BC, Canada

lc-trump.jpg

 

The New York Times, 3/30/16

Submitted by Richard Knee, San Francisco, California

jesus-lc.png

The Jerusalem Post, 3/14/16

Submitted anonymously

wapo-ted-cruz-cartoon.jpg

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

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

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.