Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

Journowatch: Headline vs. Story

In an article about the soon-to-be-canonised Australian nun, Mary McKillop, the Daily Telegraph exhibits a peculiar example of the lows of newspaper journalism today.

The headline boldly states “Australian nun ‘to be made patron saint of abuse victims'” only for the sub-headline — “An Australian nun who will be canonised by the Pope next month should be made the patron saint of clerical sex abuse victims, Catholics have suggested.” — to directly contradict this.

Is Mary McKillop “to be” the patron saint of the abused or has it merely been “suggested”? The headline-writer put the ‘to be’ in quotation marks, but the article doesn’t supply a single quotation or piece of evidence showing this decision has been reached, only a quotation suggesting it would be a wise course of action.

I’ve read numerous examples of newspaper articles offering contradictory facts unreconciled, but to do so before the article has even started seems particularly bizarre.

This post was published on Friday, October 1st, 2010 2:11 pm. It has been categorised under Church Newspapers Saints and been tagged under , , .
1 Oct 2010 3:42 pm

That’ll be the sub-editor not having actually read the article in question properly, a crime deplorable but not very rare these days. The writer won’t have had any say in the title given to it.

The sub-editor may in turn have been edited by an editor who had read even less of the story.

And so it goes.

L Gaylord Clark
3 Oct 2010 3:57 am

This is one a an increasingly long catalogue of journalistic sins of every type committed on a daily basis by the new, shiny, and utterly debased Telegraph.
The recent decision of its editors (or owners?) to drop Gerald Warner from their list of bloggers is only the worst of many failures of nerve. The paper is no longer conservative in any sense other than the purely party political. Come to think of it, since this is at least as true of the party itself, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

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