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Friday, August 23, 2019
CEBU

What caused the headline glitch?

LACK of space and tightness of deadline are often blamed for any failure or mistake of editing. And New York Times editors tagged the usual culprits in their post-mortem on the Aug. 6 Trump headline.

Which are plausible and yet not totally acceptable since limits on newspaper space and time are “given” or assumed hardships in headline writing.

Five words or so, with the right number of characters, were to sum up what Trump said. But then, in the paper’s second edition, headline writers did it right, or at least improved the work.

‘Print hub’

Change in procedure could be a factor.

Instead of an executive editor or another senior editor paying attention to sensitive material, usually with the help of other EdBoard (editorial board) members--practiced by most newsrooms less than five years ago—there is now a “Print Hub” whose members package the stories.

The “print-hubbers” are mostly generalists who don’t care much about, or don’t have skill or time for, context and nuance in headlines. With the fresh lesson on how a headline can get wrong, most likely they will correct this deficiency at the hub. PAS


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