Worse Than Wrong: The Danger of Misleading Headlines About Terror Wave in Israel
Battling media bias begins at the top: the headline.
A shooting on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv on April 7 by a Palestinian assailant that left three people dead and 15 wounded, was the latest attack to roil Israel as part of a terror wave. Thursday night’s was the fourth deadly occurrence in less than three weeks.
Together, 14 people have been killed.
But while Israel tries to defend itself from an onslaught — which is a direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements urging Palestinian youths to murder Jews — news headlines around the world are misleading readers about what’s really going on.
The problem with these headlines is that they do not convey the true picture, even if they aren’t outright false.
As a result, readers are left unable to fully conceptualize actual events, and may instead be left with inaccurate “impressions.”
Enter our organization, which tackles such “stealth” bias on a daily basis.
For example, an otherwise well-researched and well-written April 6 article published by The Daily Express, originally had this misleading title: “Israel’s Naftali Bennet seeks control of social media to prevent ‘new wave of terrorism.’”
While the piece notes that social media platforms are being used to incite violence against Israelis, the assertion that Jerusalem is seeking to clamp down on all social media use is incorrect.
One can make the case that the headline implied that Israel is sliding towards authoritarianism.