The day I killed a whole town with a headline

I killed an entire town yesterday for a few minutes.

Our reporter turned in a story about a man who died after being struck by a car in Belgrade, a story that raised questions I wrote about yesterday, you might recall.

What didn’t fit into that post was the foul I committed when posting the story to the website. I accidentally typed the headline as:

“Belgrade dies after being struck by car Saturday night”

Then, not realizing I left out a word, I proceeded to send out the breaking news e-mail and post a link to the story to Twitter and Facebook.

Readers more eagle-eyed than myself immediately spotted the error and mocked it. The error certainly deserved mocking, even if the subject matter of the story made such mocking a bit morbid.

I corrected the headline within five minutes and sent out a new breaking news e-mail with the right headline. Still, my error stubbornly persisted on the Web for about 10 more minutes as various caches were refreshed on our servers.

Lesson learned. Take more time and reread your headlines before you post them.