The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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March 6, 2013

'Rapefruit' headline gaffe goes viral

MANKATO, Minn. — An unfortunate headline in Tuesday’s Mankato Free Press, caused quite a flap on social media.

The headline in question summarized an article about grapefruit and included a recipe for Spiced Grapefruit Compote. The headline was intended to read “Grapefruit” — with a slice of the fruit substituting for the G. Instead, many readers interpreted the headline as “Rapefruit.”

The gaffe was tweeted by City Pages and the Poynter Institute, and written about by The Sideshow, a media blog at Yahoo News. Gawker.com said it may be the “most unfortunate article headline in print journalism history.”

On The Free Press Facebook site, the headline prompted dozens of comments. “Obviously, in hindsight, we would have done this differently,” said Jim Santori, publisher of The Free Press.

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