c. This was the Take-A-Pen Reader's letter to the Guardian:
To the editor of the Guardian,
To the ombudsman of the Guardian,My first reaction on reading the bold headline "Hungary Foils 'Jewish' Terror Plot" on page 9 of the April 14 Guardian International, was increased resentment against those troublesome Jews, now plotting terror attacks in Hungary.
Only after reading the entire article did I realize that the headline was completely misleading. The plot was not by Jews, but against Jews. A typical case of the victim represented as the culprit.
Admittedly on re-reading the headline, I became aware of the quotation marks surrounding the word Jewish.
In the circumstances, I believe you will agree that
a) Headlines have a major influence on readers' impressions. A great number of readers skim their newspaper headlines without reading the entire articles.
b) This headline creates the definite impression that a plot by Jews, not against Jews, had been foiled.
c) Few readers would have paid attention to the quotation marks around the word Jewish and even for those who did notice them, the significance is unclear..
As the Guardian prides itself on presenting a fair view of the news, I trust we may expect a prominent clarification of this highly misleading headline.
Incidentally, the code of the US Society of Professional Journalists requires that headlines must not misrepresent, nor oversimplify, nor highlight incidents out of context.