View Full Version : Headlines, Agendas, and Story Content

Jeff P
07-26-2013, 01:02 AM
It's hard for me to say when it first started, but looking back I realize now it's been going on for quite some time. It appears to be getting worse and worse with each passing day.

What am I talking about?

While reading the news I have a tendency to glance at headlines. And when a headline catches my eye, then I'll read the story.

Trouble is, a LOT of headlines these days appear to be nothing more than carefully chosen phrases meant to sensationalize a story in such a way so as to further a political agenda.

Take for example the following headline from a story that broke earlier today:

Zimmerman Juror B29 to ABC News: 'He got away with murder'

Now, here's a link to the story itself as reported by the LA Times:

And here's a quote from the story itself:
Like Juror B37, who spoke last week on Anderson Cooper's CNN show, Juror B29 maintained that race wasn’t a factor in her deliberations.

She said she pushed for Zimmerman to be convicted of second-degree murder until she decided on the second day of deliberations that there wasn't enough definitive proof.

Let's go over that again...

According to the headline: 'He got away with murder'

But if I take the time to read the story in its entirely, I discover that the headline is only one tiny piece of the whole.

According to the story: Juror B29 (initially) wanted to convict... But maintained race wasn't a factor and decided on the second day of deliberations that there wasn't enough definitive proof.

Which is it?

After reading the story, and if I were the one responsible for writing the headline, I might have written something like the following:

Zimmerman Juror B29 torn and tells ABC News: 'But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence.'

(But then maybe that wouldn't sell newspapers.)

Before anyone accuses ME of pushing an agenda, THIS CUTS BOTH WAYS AND ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. And it happens with every story that has even a smidgeon of political overtone attached to it. And the headline is slanted to the left or the right depending on ownership of the media outlet reporting the story.

Is it just me? Or is there no one out there practicing actual journalism?



07-26-2013, 01:20 AM
True journalism is very rare because these people are not hired to uncover "breaking news" they're hired to sell copy and generate website hits, etc.

True journalism doesnt sell, sensationalism does.

CNN plastered her all over their tv shows today, even though she really had nothing groundbreaking to say.