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November 12, 2012

Today's Headlines: Israeli Aggression Hits Syria

Casual news consumers today cannot be blamed for thinking that on top of all the other troubles that Syrians face, they now have to worry about Israeli aggression. Here's the Associated Press headline at the moment in places like The New York Times, National Public Radio and MSNBC:

Israel Fires at Syria for 2nd Straight Day -

Israel Fires At Syria For 2nd Straight Day - NPR.jpg

Israel fires at Syria for 2nd straight day - World news - Europe  NBC News.jpg

This is a classic case of "last-first" reporting, which was also on display, and subsequently fixed, at CNN earlier this week. The minority of readers who actually go beyond the misleading headline will learn from the accompanying AP story:

The Israeli military says it has fired into Syria for a second straight day in response to errant mortar fire that landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

There were no reports of injuries on either side of the frontier Monday. But a series of similar incidents in recent days has raised fears that Israel could be dragged into the fighting in its northern neighbor.

Israel does not believe the mortar fire has intentionally targeted Israeli targets.

Still, Israeli officials have warned that they will respond harshly if the attacks persist.

Israel responded for the first time on Sunday, firing an anti-tank missile as a "warning shot."

The AFP, in places including the Lebanese Daily Star, shows the AP that an accurate headline is possible:

Israel returns fire as Syrian mortar round hits Golan  News , Middle East  THE DAILY STAR.jpg

Posted by TS at November 12, 2012 08:15 AM


It's telling when a newspaper from a country that's been at war with Israel for decades can produce a headline that gets the facts correcct, while the New York Times, Associated Press, and NBC News don't seem able (or willing) to do so.

Posted by: Ben at November 12, 2012 10:54 AM

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