Readers of a Connecticut newspaper were jolted when they came across an article about the Newtown school massacre and found an advertisement touting an upcoming gun show displayed right next to it.
The Advocate of Stamford — 42 miles southwest of Newtown — published a story about classes resuming at the school where 20 students and six adults were killed last month, under the headline “A Different Sandy Hook Elementary Opens.’’
Below a poignant photo of a toy bird next to a sign at the school entrance reading “Welcome Sandy Hook Elementary Kids’’ is a jarring ad for the “East Coast Fine Arms Show’’ which takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Stamford Plaza Hotel.
“Investment quality arms from all eras,’’ crows the ad, which is accompanied by three photos of firearms.
The cringe worthy placement had red-faced officials at the Hearst Connecticut Media Group quickly issuing a mea culpa.
“Our newspapers should not be running gun ads — including ads for antique and collectible gun shows — next to stories about Sandy Hook,’’ executive editor Barbara Roessner told the journalism website JimRomenesko.com
, which first reported the gaffe.
“It’s insensitive, and it shouldn’t have happened. It was an oversight, and we apologize for it. We have taken steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’’
Romenesko scolded the Advocate, noting: “Shouldn’t it be standard operating procedure at this point to make sure there aren’t gun ads next to school shooting-related stories?’’
The Advocate isn't the only paper to post gun-related ads next to stories about the school shooting. The Rock Hill Herald and the Allentown Morning Call have also been guilty of the unfortunate advertising placement as well.
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