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Chicago Tribune's perfect response after they put a kitten on their homepage

That really should say “puuurrfect”, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it.
Jul 31st 2013, 12:00 PM 3,029 2

YESTERDAY THE CHICAGO Tribune did what every newspaper editor wishes he or she could do (probably)… they put a kitten on the homepage.

For sixteen glorious minutes, this was the main story that greeted visitors to the site:

Image via Gizmodo

The paper quickly apologised via Twitter and said it was investigating:

A well-handled PR defensive move on behalf of the paper’s Social Media and SEO Manager Amy Guth ensured that the story was surrounded with nothing but good feelings, by carrying out a professional but lighthearted email Q&A with Gizmodo.

Referring to the kitten as an “unsanctioned cat”, Guth assured readers that interns are not allowed to handle kittens, while qualifying that the mistake was one which will not be taken lightly:

This erroneously-positioned cat pushed down what should have been a story about the Chicago funeral of actor Dennis Farina, and sat beside several very serious stories including the judge ruling in the WikiLeaks case and the death of former US senator Harry Byrd Jr. It wasn’t our intention to make light of those important stories. We take the programming of our website very seriously, and we do regret the error.

Guth said a routine CMS (content management system) test went awry, causing a photo of a cat from a “pets in need of a home” gallery to go live on the homepage, surrounded by “test” text.

The cat, incidentally, is called Benton, and is in need of a home.

Guth’s colleague Scott Kleinberg has written a blog post about the incident, acknowledging that:

In the age of Twitter, these types of mistakes live forever.

Amen brother.

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Emer McLysaght

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