Monday, March 23, 2009

Bum Head

Well, there's nothing worse than an unfortunate front-page headline on a Monday morning to greet the editor on his first day back on the job after an extended furlough/bereavement leave. 

Many readers, myself included, were upset with the headline over the story this morning about the shooting of four police officers in Oakland on Saturday. The follow-up story, written by our friends at the San Jose Mercury, was actually nicely done. But our headline -- "Cop killer was depressed, struggling" -- seemed to indicate an insensitivity to the slain officers. 

One caller complained that the headline showed "sympathy for the devil, rather than sympathy for the good." Another suggested the headline should have read "Hero Cops Killed Chasing Madman." 

The latter caller echoed my own sentiments: Lots of depressed and struggling people manage to get through the day without killing police officers.

The headline was an unfortunate approach to a sad story.

1 comment:

  1. Leave it to me to take a different perspective. I took it as a warning that mentally ill people aren't getting the help they need. That's an important angle.