Beware the Headlines!

Does anyone else find newspaper headlines annoying? You would think that as well as trying to grab our attention they were also designed to give a hint about what the article actually contains. All too often, though, they mislead, as I discovered when I read this Reuters article about the political situation in Madagascar.

The headline reads: ‘France backs Madagascar’s Rajoelina – Former Leader.’    At first glance it appears that France have declared their backing for the current leader of the ‘Transitional Authority’, Andry Rajoelina, which would be surprising, because France had already denounced Rajoelina’s grab for power as a coup. It turns out that it is ousted President Ravalomanana who is accusing France of supporting the new leader and of wanting ‘to enslave the Malagasy people’. To be fair the headline did include ‘Former Leader’, implying where the comment came from, but at first glance the news seemed more substantial than it actually is.

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