Monday, November 5, 2007

Burying the lede at the Strib

Who writes the headlines at the Strib? I ask because they are either really terrible at it, or deliberately covering for Republicans. When I worked at the paper in the mid 80s we had some of the finest and wittiest headline writers ever. Check this out - over the past 45 months Minnesota has lagged national job growth 90 percent of the time, and in June, the state's jobless rate exceeded the national average for the first time in 31 years. So what kind of headline does the Trib run? "Salad days of Minnesota job growth have run course."

Huh? Why would they run an opaque headline like that. There's really only one reason - to protect the Republican in the statehouse. Why not run a headline like, "Minnesota trails national job growth for years," or, "For first time in 31 years state jobless rate higher than nation's." Or, instead of protecting governor pepsodent, they could blame him. "Minnesota job growth trails nation under Pawlenty." Not hard, is it? When some story or statistic looks bad for a Republican time and time again headline writers at the paper have taken the sting out of the story with an absurd headline, and this is just another in a series of real gaffes at the copy desk. Also see here and here, and here.

Update: Not that the crappy copy editing has anything to do with this, but new numbers show that over the past six months the Trib has lost 6.5 % of its daily circulation, and 4.3 % of its Sunday circulation.

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