I spent five years as an artist and designer for the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. I’ve always taken great pride in the fabulous work done by that paper after my departure, nearly 20 years ago.

Today, not so much.

This is the jump page in today’s paper, addressing the horrifying shootings in Connecticut. But dominating the page? A giant ad. For a local joint selling Smith & Wesson.

121215RockHillJuxtaposition

There’s no excuse for this. No excuse at all.

Herald editor Paul Osmundson writes this afternoon:

We at The Herald should have recognized the unfortunate juxtaposition of the advertisement with stories and a photograph about gun violence.

Multiple editors worked on the page and should have noticed the problem. We all made a terrible mistake, and for that I apologize.

Thanks to WCNC-TV news reporter Diane Gallagher for posting this today via Twitter.

Jim Romenesko posted a similar problem today in the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call. And, of course, we saw a similar problem yesterday on the web site of the Hartford Courant.

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