Top distorted headlines of the week

Top distorted headlines of the week

February 8, 2018

Headlines are the first thing we read about a story, so they can have a lasting impression. They become the lens through which we perceive the rest of it, and that can significantly affect our ability to perceive information objectively. This week, headlines featured language suggesting problems are bigger than they actually are. Through exaggeration, media outlets promoted fear instead of critical thinking about subjects including Trump, law enforcement, North Korea and the economy.


An article’s headline can direct how the news is understood. Compare and contrast how different outlets present the story through their headlines.

Past gains are characterized here as “easy money.” Were they really?


Also, the news here is that the Dow Jones declined 4.6 percent in one day, the largest single-day point decline, and the Times predicts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. But the Times uses vague, dramatic terms that could inspire fear. Could this style of reporting inspire “shocks” in itself?


The Republican memo says there were “concerns with legitimacy and legality” in how the FBI and DOJ obtained a surveillance warrant for one member of Trump’s presidential campaign. Saying there was “widespread abuse” is imprecise and could give the impression of extensive corruption in many areas or in many cases, which the memo doesn’t substantiate.

What impression does it give to describe Democrats as “glum” and sitting on their hands? It’s an opinion stated as fact. And it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in our elected representatives, does it?

News is supposed to portray objective facts. Headlines like the above leave us wondering: what is this article actually reporting on? It’s not clear. It’s an opinion piece presented as news.

Pence’s upcoming visit, recent comments and expected announcement of new sanctions doesn’t necessarily mean he’s discouraging improved ties between the two Koreas.

This Times article is about six Baltimore police officers who pleaded guilty to crimes such as theft. Saying the officers are “brazen” and “took every chance” to steal sensationalizes the crimes.

This headline states Trump was “vindicated” by the memo, rather than saying he tweeted that the memo “vindicates” him. The two don’t quite mean the same thing.

Yes, this is an entire article about Trump’s hair last Friday, and his hairdo in general. Should this be the subject of a news article?