Headline vs substance

July 20th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The headline:

Schools fail to meet ambitious Government targets

The first para:

National education data shows schools are not meeting ambitious targets set by the Government as part of its better public service targets and Maori and Pasifika students are still trailing in achievement.

The second para:

Only four of the 16 regions across New Zealand are meeting a target of 98 per cent of children participating in early childhood education by 2016.

Is it 2016 yet?

The story is fine in that it reports 12 out of 16 regions are not yet at the target, three years out from it. But you can’t label that a failure.

Note sub-editors do the headlines, not the story authors.

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10 Responses to “Headline vs substance”

  1. Reid (15,981 comments) says:

    And note this headline from today’s Stuff.

    Kept 10 years in a ‘dungeon’
    9:50am Four homeless men being held captive in a garage say they were lured there by promises of alcohol and smokes

    And yet the article says they were there for possibly weeks but no-one knows for sure how long it was. Where did the 10 years come from? Who knows. Lots of “advanced thinking” going on in that sub-editor’s brain, that’s for sure.

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  2. labrator (1,750 comments) says:

    I wonder how a sub-editors performance is evaluated. It seems they’re only responsible for click throughs. That would explain the poor quality of headlines that seem to be aimed at provocation not summary.

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,799 comments) says:

    Now you know why I no longer bother to visit their website.

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  4. Reid (15,981 comments) says:

    Sub-editors are paid propagandists labrator. False and misleading headlines are too common and ubiquitous for them to be mere occasional mistakes. In addition, when was the last time you saw a false headline that favoured a conservative spin? Never, right? This proves it is not mere innocent error, because if it was then statistically you’d expect an even balance, which doesn’t happen.

    They do it because many people read the headline and make their minds up there and then about what the article says. The rest is mere detail.

    Journalists know this is how people process information and this is why they do it. They lost the ethics of the Fourth Estate a long long time ago which was to publish the facts and let the people make up their own minds. These days, they deliberately spin it because they know it works, because they know most people don’t think critically.

    This is how social trends like gay marriage develop and are ‘sold’ to the people. Because the journo’s with monstrous arrogance hallucinate because they work in the news industry, they are therefore so much better informed than the great unwashed and that therefore their ‘advanced thinking’ on any matter is the ‘correct’ answer and it should be promulgated in order to ‘advance’ society. It’s a totally egregious attitude which wouldn’t work if only people would start thinking for themselves rather than allow others to do it for them, but most people don’t, that’s part of human nature.

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  5. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    A favourite of mine – particularly because it shows the blatant partisanship of the Left sub- or editor – was the DomPost the morning after George W Bush was re-elected President.

    After having criticized his mandate in the first term due to the Florida vote problems and his failure to win 50% of the popular vote, when George W won in 2004 with over 50% of the popular vote, the DomPost headline was:

    “Bush clings to power”

    They may as well have written “DomPost shreds it’s credibility”

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  6. Dave Guerin (31 comments) says:

    Also, schools don’t do early childhood education, so they can’t fail at that target anyway…

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  7. OneTrack (2,624 comments) says:

    MSM. RIP.

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  8. jcuk (586 comments) says:

    Is it not a symptom of the competition? Every now and then I happen to see a TV clip of journalists crowded around a politician holding recorders in the face.
    I don’t watch TV these days and gave up on newspapers even earlier so rely on National Radio GHM :-)
    The news media is one section of modern life where competition is not good.
    The sub editor’s job is to make interesting headlines but competition is driving them too far.

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  9. Reid (15,981 comments) says:

    The sub editor’s job is to make interesting headlines but competition is driving them too far.

    The truth is quite interesting too, jcuk but they don’t bother with that, do they. It’s not competition that’s driving it, it’s people who have a certain agenda hiring people who have the same agenda. Very rarely do others get a look in. This is why there are very few conservative perspectives in the media and those few who give it, are muted to a greater or lessor extent, the muting of which is increasing year by year as the good ones retire.

    But you can’t change human nature and fact is, most of us think. And this is why people are deserting the MSM, because it doesn’t offer what people require, despite the desperate attempts by the media to pretend it represents common thought.

    It used to. It doesn’t anymore.

    Newsflash.

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  10. Left Right and Centre (2,825 comments) says:

    One word: tabloid

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