A Deliberate Front-Page Typo? Australia Media Watchers Debate

Why some believe Friday's Sydney Morning Herald headline misspelling might be intentional

There is normally only one "M" in economy.
Headshot of Richard Horgan

Think of this, potentially, as trickle-down journalist anger.

At the top of the May 5 front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, the word economy is misspelled in the headline as “ecomomy.” Under normal circumstances, this might be seen simply as an embarrassing mistake. But since the Herald and its sister Fairfax Media newspaper in Melbourne, The Age, are facing a May 9 voluntary-buyout deadline and the mandate that a total of 125 full-time reporters will be laid off across all outlets, some think this was the equivalent of a raised middle finger.

From a report in The Australian:

In response to the cuts, journalists from The Age and Herald indicated they would go on strike for seven days, including Tuesday’s Federal Budget release. The newspaper following the budget is one of the biggest editions of the year.

This morning, journalists from The Age will be at major train stations in Melbourne to collect signatures urging Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood to reverse the cuts.

The article in question was written by Matthew Dunckley, a business editor for both the Herald and The Age. One reader commenting on The Australian article writes: ‘Chances are somebody sympathetic to the striking journos slipped it in after proofreading and hoped nobody would pick it up.’ There is also the possibility that the current strike had something to do with this error as more of an inadvertent mistake. Either way, it’s a hashtag rallying cry.

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.