Think about it. We outrage when such stories are true, and we outrage when such stories are false. We should. We outrage more when misled--even more if baited. Clickbait and misleading titles are the bane of good journalism. I want to focus on this point.
We all know this but it bears repeating. Most journalists don't write titles for their articles. Editors do. Many an article I wrote has a title I would never write. But, I sympathize with editors. They have an impossible job.
They are responsible for catching errors and ensuring an article's faithfulness to the editorial line. They do this against a deadline.
The article needs the "perfect" title. It must summarize the text and attract the reader. As such, the editor now becomes a copywriter. So much hinges on this. The journalist's work is for naught if the title fails to draw attention.
An editor is human. They will miss errors and will approve articles that are not in line with their message. They will also suggest terrible titles. And no, AI will not help us. I write using several applications that miss or even suggest incorrect grammar.
So, the editor gives a title and sends it to print. Then comes the storm. And who bears the brunt of it? The journalist.
This is not to encourage us to attack editors in place of journalists. It's to encourage us to consider things out of the hands of both parties so that we attack everyone less.
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