Questionable Headline -- Washington Post Oct. 30 Issue

After reviewing some of the stories in the online edition of the Washington Post, I found a couple of headlines that left me questioning what the stories would be about.

One headline read "Fortunes of Executive, Saftey Official Entwined in Pr. George's County". This story did not leave me questioning the nature of the story as much as it appeared to be misleading. From the title I expected that the story may have somehting to do with financial gain or money. I could be overestimating the words but I would not have thought the story would have been based largely on the professional gains of two Prince George's County public officails. The problem with this headline is the ambiguity in the word "fortunes." The writer meant for the word fortunes to be synonymous with the word "future." This headline could have been reconstructed in a way that limits ambiguity in the word choice. I believe there should be a focus on the relationship and the official positions. My suggestion for a headline for that story is Pr. George's Co. Officails' Relationship Is Under Specualation . Even that headline could be tighter but the is no question about the nature or expectation of the information in the story.

The next headline I saw that could have been revised reads "Noise Sensors Back Police In Teen Shooting." I think the word "back" could have been exchanged for "Support" or something else that limits the need for the reader to use contect clues in the headline. I had to read the headline a second time in order to underestand that the term "Back" was being used synonymously with the term "support" or "reinforces" this headline is not bad, it could (in my opinion) be written in a way that minimizes ambiguity and possible confusion.

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