Printing Marketers Go Head Hunting —Cagle
COPY EDITOR'S NIGHTMARE: In the world of journalism, it's not always what you say, but where you say it, as well. And, it always helps to have a second set of eyes.
About 15 years ago, while doing newspaper layout and design, I wrote a headline about former basketball star Glenn Robinson, a.k.a., Big Dog, who was complaining about his NBA contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.
It was a one column, three deck head, which is enough for roughly three normal sized words (or five really small words). "Robinson" was too long for the point size I was using, so I went with Big Dog.
One more word was needed, and the choices were many. I could've chose "barks" or "yelps" to keep the cheesy dog theme afloat. Since Robinson came off like a crybaby in the article, I chose...bawls. 'Big Dog' Bawls was the headline. It fit, the word "bawls" didn't have a descender jutting toward the copy, and deadline was breathing down my neck.
The next day, I got a dirty look from my editor-in-chief, who uttered, "Do you always have to be a smart ass?" When I asked what he was talking about, he told me to read the Robinson headline again. After about 15 seconds, I broke into a juvenile snickering jag.
But I had no backup the previous evening to catch the double entendre, and did not have malice in my heart. (P.S., not a single irate call or letter to the editor.)
Fast forward to last November and enter the digital age. WPMI-TV in Mobile, AL, is making every effort to tout its modern news coverage and dissemination methods, including an electronic billboard visible to commuters. In a cross-media move, the hip station posts its Twitter live news tweets to the billboard. One such tweet landed two station execs in hot water. The feed read, "3 Accused of Gang Rape in Monroeville."