Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Headline questioned by a couple of readers

Mr. Tad Weber: As residents of Los Osos, hoping for a successful 218 assessment vote [re: a sewer project for the town], we were instantly put off by the Tribune's choice of words for the headline: "Osos sewer vote aims for fall," Page B1 of the LOCAL section, July 16. The six words arranged in this manner suggest either a deliberate prediction of failure for the vote we are all anticipating, or simply a failed attempt at the composition of an unbiased headline ..."
_ Stephani and Stuart Denker

Dear Denkers: Thank you very much for taking the time to write to express your disappointment with our headline. I can assure you, we did not try to infer any failure on part of the assessment vote. We are simply trying to say the mail balloting will occur largely in the fall season. Headline writing is a discipline requiring a lot of information to be conveyed in a few words.
_ Tad Weber

1 comment:

herbed peas said...

Osos sewer vote aims for fall

I'm in agreement with the letter writer on this one. The Trib can admit an intentional slight, or it can admit carelessness in this instance.

My vote would go to carelessness (evidenced by the Trib's track record), given that it's a deadline-driven occupation. While it's tempting to assign clever motive for much of the Tribune's writing, that level of craft requires time and talent that is all but absent in today's local news environment, all around.