I had just turned on my smartphone last Wednesday after landing in Detroit, the site of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia's annual convention.
The subject of one of the 50 or so emails downloading to my phone immediately caught my eye. It was from Irene, the assistant editor, and the subject was "Typo on front cover."
I responded to Irene with a one-word email. "Shit," it said.
So, here's how Obama became Obamam on last week's cover.
On my final review of the cover—after everyone else had given it their OK—I noticed that the word "state" in the phrase "Grand Canyon State" was not capitalized. I marked the proof and handed it to Andrew, our art director. He made the correction, and gave me a new proof. In the midst of the deadline-day rush, I quickly looked at the new proof, saw that "State" was properly capitalized, and approved the proof.
Unfortunately, I didn't notice that an "m" was somehow added to the end of the word "Obama" while that final correction was being made.
Blame for the error sits on my shoulders, and mine alone. I sincerely apologize for the mistake.
A small number of twits took to the Internet to cite the typo as evidence that the Tucson Weekly is in need of better proofing and editing. To those people, I say this: This is the first significant mistake the Weekly has had on its cover, at least that I can recall, in more than eight years. And while we're not perfect—thankfully, we've never claimed to be—and we do make mistakes, I'll put the editing and proofing in the Weekly up against that of any other publication in Southern Arizona.
Again, my apologies for the stupid mistake.
• And now for something completely different: Congratulations to Renée Downing for earning an honorable mention in the Political Column category at the 2012 Altweekly Awards, announced at the aforementioned AAN convention last week. The honor is much-deserved.