The Florida Times-Union apparently didn’t think through the overall image of ad placement and simply slapped on the stickers advertising a weekend gun show on the front page of the Friday edition. But unfortunately, just below the ad screams the headline, “Shock, anger after shooting.”
The shooting the front page headline refers to left two teen girls in the hospital after being shot on a school bus – one through the cheek and another in the back of the head. Police said the girls are likely only alive because the gun used was a very small caliber.
The newspaper later released a statement, apologizing for the mishap.
“All of us at The Florida Times-Union know that gun violence is one of the most emotionally charged and pressing issues facing our community. The tragedy that occurred on a Duval County school bus Thursday was as societally significant as it was frightening. As such, a team of reporters, editors and photographers approached this story with great sensitivity and professionalism, and we stand proudly by their report on page 1A of Friday’s newspaper.
The appearance of a gun-related front-page sticky note on the same day was an incredibly regrettable coincidence. It was born of the purposeful separation between our news and advertising departments, an approach we take because we value nothing more than the objectivity of our journalism. That said, this clearly was an oversight. We’re aggressively reviewing our procedures and will implement steps to prevent such a situation in the future.”