Headlines no place for editorialising

Jul 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: The Nation

A front page article in The Nation last week reported some information about petitions challenging the recently-passed contempt of court law. The report by Bari Baloch did a good job of sticking to the facts and not including the reporter’s personal views or political opinions. Unfortunately, the reporter’s good work was undermined by the headline attached to the piece, which appeared on the front page of the newspaper.

The Nation Headline Bias

What was probably considered a bit of clever wordplay by the headline writer unfortunately undermined the neutrality of an otherwise good report. Rather than ‘SC to scan contempt law’, the headline writer chose to term the law itself as ‘contempt(uous)’, projecting a negative viewpoint of the law.

Like most newspapers, The Nation has a clearly identified section for Opinion pieces. It should be noted that this section usually appears on page 6, not page 1. There is nothing wrong with using clever wordplay to make a more interesting headline, but that should not include using terms that project bias into news pieces.

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