The traditional media is looking for new, creative ways to stay relevant in the age of digital journalism. So, we certainly can’t blame the Mankato (Minn.) Free Press for its efforts to engage readers through a more visual layout design that calls to mind a recent redesign by the nation’s largest newspaper, USA Today.
Unfortunately for the Free Press, today’s effort is generating the wrong kind of publicity, after a recipe in the paper’s food section appears to declare “RAPEFRUIT: Good for every meal.”
The unfortunate headline is, of course, a recipe for grapefruit, not an endorsement of sexual assault. But that hasn’t stopped the layout from going instantly viral on sites like Reddit and Twitter. The picture on Twitter was viewed more than 10,000 times in less than an hour after it was posted, and it has already generated hundreds of reader comments on Reddit.
As Bryan Armen Graham wrote on his Twitter page where the picture was posted, "Oh, this is just unfortunate."
Yahoo News has put in a phone call to the Free Press to gauge the reaction but is still waiting for a return call. Though, for the record, the person at the paper laughed knowingly as we attempted to describe exactly why we were hoping to speak on the record with a representative of the paper.