There is an art to writing a good headline. Too long and it won’t fit, too short and it won’t really describe the story. It requires a concerted effort to find just the right pithy and evocative words that still accurately describe the story’s content.
Apparently the august New York Times just can’t afford that class of headline writer.
Case in point comes with this morning’s news that rockets from Gaza have once again been fired into Israel, violating the latest cease-fire.
At first, believe it or not, the Times headlined the story by questioning whether the rockets that landed in Israel really came from Gaza: “Rockets Said to Be Fired from Gaza Strip Puncture Latest Cease-Fire” (the site newsdiffs.org keeps track of headline changes).
So, the headline writer seemed to be saying, the Israelis said the rockets were fired from Gaza, but who knows, maybe they were lying.
It’s worth asking again, why does the Times find this so difficult?