Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Web heads
Headline writing and story play are a little different on the Web. Time is an issue, and so is automation. Here are a couple of examples where these factors make an impact:

This headline and story from The New York Times site disagree. How tall was that building? This is a discrepancy that can arise out of haste. The fluid nature of the Web also allows for easy corrections, making this a simple fix. If only newspapers could be so fortunate.

This slanted headline and story placement from Google are more problematic. The headline rings of bias, a frequent charge by people on both sides of the Midest debate. A click on the link sheds some light: The story in question is an editorial from Bangladesh, not a news story. In that case, the headline is OK.

Google News, however, presented the headline and first sentence as news, not opinion. A reasonable reader is led to believe that the link will lead to a roundup of the day's news from the conflict. Such are the hazards of aggregators, which tend to blend news and opinion. This is why human editors are still (thankfully) necessary.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 10:24 AM | Permalink |