On Thursday, the students of Sandy Hook Elementary attended school for the first time since the mass shooting left 20 children and six adults dead on Dec. 14. Instead of returning to their original school, a nearby middle school was converted into the new Sandy Hook, and the Stamford Advocate covered the news in an article that ran on page A5 of its Thursday paper. But the story, which says children's laughter can be heard within the walls of the new building, is running next to a very poorly placed advertisement for a local gun show.
"East Coast Fine Arms Show," the ad reads, promising "quality arms from all eras." Twitter user Bekim Ukperaj tweeted a photo of the ad, which is "the most inappropriate ad possible in an article about Sandy Hook," writes Mike Hayes at Buzzfeed. Hayes posted the image to his Facebook page, to which one user responded, "you can't blame this on an algorithm." And that commenter is right. An actual person must have approved this placement. "Shouldn't it be standard operating procedure at this point to make sure there aren't gun ads next to school shooting-related stories?" asks media watchdog and journalist Jim Romenesko. He reached out to Hearst Connecticut Media Group executive editor Barbara T. Roessner, who gave this response:
Our newspapers should not be running gun ads — including ads for antique and collectible gun shows — next to stories about Sandy Hook. 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.