tue 21 aug 2012 13:46:20 witte de withstraat
misleading news headlines
today i saw two news stories which i could easily misinterpret if i only read the headline.
first was a headline in volkskrant.nl saying 'PvdA: arbeidsmigranten strenger controleren' [=~ Labor party: stricter controls on labor migrants!].
second, a headline in the telegraph (uk) saying 'Anger as Iran bans women from universities'.
the first headline might have left me thinking the dutch labor party was simply against east-european immigrants -- which [a] would seem kinda anti-socialistic, and [b] would almost put them in league with their right wing opponents. but the article itself explains how the PvdA wants to fight the rampant exploitation of these workers by unscrupulous employment agents. (one of my polish friends is currently being exploited by just such an agency, so i can kinda see where the party is coming from on that one.)
the second headline made me think the govt of iran has banned women from attending university, period. which would not be true. judging by the actual story text, what iran is doing is pretty darn egregious: they're barring female students from several kinds of degree courses, and deliberately manipulating the gender balance in education to try and preserve the male domination of their society. it appeared that overall, persian women turned out to be much better students than persian men. so yeah the patriarchy strikes back. that's bad. but it's not the same as 'banning women from universities'.
neither headline is untrue, but both are simplistic and misleading. people are busy, and many of us aren't speed readers. so we might easily glean wrong impressions from a quick skim of the day's blurbs.