Attention lazy headline-writers/journalists/sub-editors (though I sometimes wonder whether the latter still exist at the SMH online): a woman who is 61 is not ‘elderly‘ (pardon the use of that terrible story to illustrate this point). The journalist doesn’t use the term in his story, why put that as the precis to the story? Isn’t the headline itself awful enough?
Ah, no, the point is to milk as much emotion and scandal out of a handful of words to ensure the reader clicks through to the story. “‘Woman attacked’…hmm. That could be anyone. Sure it’s bad, but…Oh, I know! ‘Elderly woman attacked’ – that could be someone’s defenseless grandma! Winner!”
The media is irritating. Since Leigh Hatcher’s talk at staff conference, where he asked us to constantly question what the media’s agenda was, and to remember that it solely thrives on conflict as a means to grab readers/viewers to ensure revenue, those little cynical attention-grabbing tricks have become more and more apparent. And it bugs me that I can be so susceptible to them!