The Press: Equivocal

The purposes of a newspaper headline are: 1) to summarize, 2) to attract attention. Reputable papers stress summarizing. Sensational sheets seek attention. Both kinds, however, limit their headlines to facts within their stories.

As a rule. Not always. Now and then there will be a "possibility," a fact suggested, but not contained, in a story, which the headline can imply or actually express yet not be lying. For example, last week The New York Telegram headlined: CANADA JURY ACQUITS FORD ON LIQUOR PIRACY CHARGE.

"Acquits Ford? Henry Ford?" exclaimed the reader. No, it was...

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