BBC Headlines

This is, hopefully, going to be a semi-regular blog post topic. I’ve decided now is the time to give this website some meaning other than my vanity project! It’s taken a while to think about and find my area of “expertise” but this is it:

Rubbish headlines on the BBC News website

It’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel! I used to have an image of the website here but have decided it was a copyright infringement. All headlines will be linked to the original stories.

Spiderman web ‘closer to reality’ 

Headline taken from the BBC News iPhone app. As a first example this is a goody. We have two main headline issues:

  • Unreasonable extrapolation
  • Quotation in the headline

Unreasonable Extrapolation
Take a science paper and then make the most extreme possible prediction based very loosely on the science. As an example, lemon juice killing cancer cells in a petri dish does not lead to drinking lemon juice curing cancer in a human.

Quotation in Headline
Anyone could be asked for a quotation and then that used in a headline. Quotations need to be in context so the reader can decide their validity. For example a peddler of quackery might insist (incorrectly) that there is plenty of evidence for the efficacy of homoeopathic products but that does not mean that should be in a headline. People rely on headlines being true.

Spiderman web “closer to reality”

I don’t think anyone would be taken in by this headline. Get the credit card out! I want a wrist ejaculator now so I can fly from building to building.