More misleading headlines

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It’s a good-news-bad-news situation. Taking the same government statement, the UK tabloids Daily Express and the Daily Mirror have two very different takes on the same story:

(Screengrabs taken from BBC News : The Papers, 3 February 2014)



The Daily Express story concentrates on government plans to raise the basic rate of pensions year on year over the next six years.  The Daily Mirror story features the current benefits and perks that pensioners enjoy which they will lose in order to pay for the promised increase in basic pensions.   Whether pensioners will be better off or not over time is not clear, and may depend on how long they live, on whether pensions continue to rise in line with inflation or the cost of living after the six years of guaranteed rises, and many other factors. On these bare stories alone, it pays to keep an open mind, and to seek further, dig deeper.

Not too far removed is a story in The Guardian on 17 February 2014. The first few paragraphs of the story give a slightly different gloss to the headline : Guardian named as world’s best designed newspaper.


The first two paragraphs aren’t quite in synch with the headline. They read:

“The Guardian has been named one of the world’s best designed newspapers and awarded two gold medals by the Society for News Design in New York.
“The judges name the Guardian the best designed paper, alongside Germany’s Die Zeitgeist and Welt am Sonntag, Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter and The Grid in Canada…”

To be one of the world’s five best designed newspapers is still a grand achievement. Obviously accuracy of news reports, with special regard for headlines, is not a criterion for selection.

Given this observation, it might be considered quibbling to point out that the award is not for the “world’s best designed newspaper.” The award, presented by the Society for News Design, is for the “World’s Best-Designed Newspapers.” Accuracy of punctuation (note the hyphen) isn’t a criterion either.

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