Headline manipulation

I have a google alert system that sends me an email whenever Yemen is mentioned in the news. There were several in my inbox this morning. The first one had the headline “Suicide bomber foiled in Yemen”, it was written by an Arab news source (can’t remember if it was from Yemen or a neighboring country). The second headline I read was from the AP, “5 killed in suicide bomb attacks in Yemen.” Huh, I wonder which one was right. Well, it turns out that they both had the same facts but decided to spin them differently. The 5 that died were one security guard and the 4 bombers. Usually the bombers are not included in the death count, so I wonder why the AP chose the headline it did. The tone of the two reports is quite a bit different as well, the Arab one is quite upbeat, pointing out that the bombers failed because of the actions of the security personnel while the AP trots out the old “ancestoral home of Osama Bin Laden and site of the Cole attack” descriptions. It’s as if they are looking for excuses to paint the country in a negative light…


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