A sub editor for the Sydney Morning Herald website has been sacked after a headline on its homepage accidentally told readers what the rest of the article was going to be about.
“We apologise for allowing the headline Bank Teller Shot In Robbery On Parramatta Road to appear in our digital edition and totally confusing our five remaining subscribers,” said SMH editor Callum Ayte. “As soon as we found the error we immediately took it down and replaced it with the much more straightforward The Day Andy’s Job At The Bank Took An Unexpected Turn For The Worse, because we all know our readers have nothing better to do with their day than to spend half an hour clicking on every headline in the hope of eventually finding the story they’re interested in.”
“I was called into the office and lectured about how good headline writing isn’t about clarity and brevity but mainly about generating as many bogus clicks as possible,” said newly out of work sub editor Ariel Kurner. “They gave my job to one of the clue writers for the cryptic crossword who set to work making the headline as puzzling as possible.”
The headline caused much grief to readers of the Sydney Morning Herald who enjoy the many hours it takes to work out the meaning of the day’s headlines.
“The original headline totally bored me as I solved what it meant in no time at all,” said confused Herald reader Angus Broadsheet. “The new headline was much more intriguing. Did a giant python jump out of the bank vault and swallow him whole? Was he strangled with a pen chain by a crazed customer who’d just been refused a mortgage. Was this another bloody story about real estate to suck me into the Domain section? I had to find out.”