Monday, November 10, 2008

Misleading Headlines

On Comcast.net, just a few minutes ago, was the headline, Prop 8 Backers: Church Told 'Obvious Lies'.

Wouldn't that lead you to believe that people who had backed Prop 8 are now saying the church was lying? That's how it read to me. So I clicked into it.

No, the person in the article who is saying the church told obvious lies was Ed Todeschini, a volunteer who campaigned against Prop 8. The church in question, Saddelback, could not be reached for immediate comment on Sunday. Their offices were closed. (On a Sunday. Duh.)

In my journalism classes in college I was taught journalists are supposed to uphold truth to the highest degree, that headlines were never to be misleading, or written in a way that they could easily be misinterrpreted. Hmmm...

I've noticed this more and more on Comcast, that the snippet you get in the headline doesn't always match the information in the article, and even then, the article seems oddly coming from only one point of view. It's as if Comcast News itself is trying to communicate a certain slant in their reporting. Now, in my journalism classes, this was called "a lack of journalistic integrity."

Maybe the guidelines on integrity have changed in the past ten years. I must be out of date.
Share this:

3 Comments:

MooBeeMa said...

Heck yeh! Journalism has changed a LOT lately. Kinda sad.

James A Woods said...

Misleading headlines become doubly dangerous on the internet where so many headlines are scanned by viewers as if they provide all the information needed.

It leads one to believe some headlines are purposely misleading.

JenPB said...

Hmmm...we must have taken the same journalism ethics class! I've noticed quite a shift, and even when I was working at a daily I was amazed at how little honesty and respect was reflected among too many of my fellow staffers. VERY sad!