Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NYRA gets bad break in Headline Games

Yesterday Jessica Chapel reported on the gross error in The Blood-Horse headline depicting Governor Paterson's comments that he is working on a "bailout" loan to the New York State Racing Association (NYRA). It is not a bailout, plain and simple. NYRA is only asking for money that was contractually promised to them by 3/31/10 should no VLT operation be in place by that date.

Now NYRA gets errantly slapped in the face again with the The Times Union (Albany, NY) headline in Today's print and online edition titled:
"Bailout Loan for NYRA in Works"

Worse yet, in the print edition of the paper, the same blaring headline ran in an "above the fold" story on Page one. How many people only read the headline and kept going, convinced in their mind that our State government is "bailing out" NYRA when all NYRA is asking is that the government meet their contractual obligation under the 2008 Franchise agreement and issue the money to NYRA that is legally owed to them.

I know times are tough in the media world, but they do pay headline editors still, don't they?

1 comment:

Steve Zorn said...

(Speaking as a former copy editor (San Francisco Chronicle) -- no, they don't pay very many copy editors any more, and the old horseshoe desk, where we all sat around and asked each other questions of we needed to fact-check, is gone. The result, everywhere, is sloppiness, errors, and dumb headlines.A newspaper is a collaborative product, and when you fragment it to people at their individual screens, it suffers.