CNN blames premature obituaries on human error


18 Apr 2003

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CNN blamed human error for exposing obituary mock-ups that its website’s designers had prepared for Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and other prominent figures.

The mock-ups had been on a development site meant for internal review. But the public briefly had access to them after the password protection was disabled.

CNN was investigating the cause of the error, which was discovered and fixed earlier this week. CNN spokesperson Edna Johnson says technicians were trying to determine how long the mock-ups had been exposed on CNN.com. Although the prepared obituaries were no longer accessible to the public, the search engine Google still had a reference on Thursday to Reagan’s mock-up, which was entitled “Ronald Reagan Remembered”.

By Lisa Deeney