Which Paper Do You Read?

New York Times 11-30-13
Health Care Site
Rushing to Make
Fixes by Sunday

Washington Post 11-30-13
Web site
to meet

Wall Street Journal 11-30-13
Health Site, Improving,
Likely to Miss Deadline

Half-filled, half-empty viewpoints accounts for the apparent contradictions among these headlines. The headlines reflect the nature of  headlines: they have no room for qualifications.

The Times story qualifies with “…a month of frantic repair work is paying off with fewer crashes and error messages and speedier loading of pages, according to …”

The Post in the body of its story pins its optimistic reading on “administration officials” and in a drop headline says, “Fewer errors expected, but more work remains.”

The Journal story cuts it down the middle: “Despite recent progress … a raft of problems will remain…”

The moral:  Read beyond the headline. To get a better fix on a situation, read more than one news source.

—Mike Feinsilber

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