A technical glitch caused The Washington Times to mistakenly attach a picture of President Barack Obama’s young daughters to an online version of a story Wednesday about violence in Chicago public schools, prompting discussion on some political and media blogs.
Executive Editor John Solomon said The Times published the story in its print edition without a photo, then editors sent it to the Web platform without an attached photo.
He said The Times’ automated “news themes” engine, constructed to match related content to the Web site, paired the Associated Press photo of the Obama daughters to the bylined story. An online editor later spotted the photo and added a short caption.
“That editor should have removed the photo from the site but did not recognize the inappropriate mismatching,” Mr. Solomon said. “As soon as we learned about the problem, we detached the photo from the story. We regret that this technical glitch led to an inappropriate pairing of the photo with the story and we’ve taken steps technologically and in our editorial process to try to avoid such an episode in the future.”
“We also hope this glitch does not distract from the important and well reported subject of the story: the crisis of school violence in one of the nation’s largest cities.”