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Patterico has a terrific post about the LA Times and its deceptive headlines and editing, continuing his critical series on bias at the West Coast's biggest newspaper, to which he affectionately refers as the Dog Trainer:
I urge you to read the following hilarious article in yesterday's Dog Trainer titled South Bay Couple Plead Not Guilty to Running Call-Girl Ring From Home. My suggested headline would have been: "Clearly Guilty Couple Asserts Lame Defense." My headline would confuse you if you read only the information contained on the front pages, which makes the couple sound like very nice people being persecuted by misguided law enforcement officials. The details supporting my suggested headline all come -- after the jump.
"The jump" is the difference between the featured paragraphs of a story on the front page and the Paul Harvey portion stuck in the back of the section. This is somewhat less of an issue in the online version, although readers still may only read part-way through a story before deciding that they've read enough of the detail. That is one of the reasons journalists are taught to write news stories in an inverted-pyramid structure, with the most important facts weighted to the beginning of an article. Although human-interest stories don't strictly follow this structure, it is less than honest to hide critical details for the last third of the story.
When people talk about media bias, subleties like this are often missed. It's not the blatant editorial slants that cause problems because blatant bias is easily recognized. Bias appears in how a story is written, in what's included or excluded, and in how facts are emphasized or glossed over. Bias also manifests itself in headlines, placement, and whether a story is covered at all. Read through this entire post and Patterico's other bias issues in his Dog Trainer category.Sphere It View blog reactions
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