Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Ambiguity: Hebron Teen Killed for "Real" Gun

Sir, I was deeply disturbed by the headline of your front-page report describing the tragic events leading to the death of the Hebron teen. The wording of the headline I found to be terribly misleading and open to all sorts of grossly malicious misunderstandings of the factual reality.

Your headline, "Hebron teen pulls toy gun, killed by Border policewoman," can too easily be understood to mean that the boy was knowingly and deliberately killed because he pulled a toy gun. The events leading up to this unfortunate death, as described within the report, tell us a completely different story, and because of their importance deserved a more unambiguous headline.

A more appropriate headline could have stated: "Suspicious behavior, and the aiming of a gun at the head of border policeman, results in the shooting of Hebron teen. Later investigation discovers that gun was a metallic and realistic looking toy."

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: Kanaka Menehune]

The author asked the editor of the Jerusalem Post that this letter be published. Below is the response he received. 

From: letters@jpost.com
To: ChamudotZH
Sent: Thursday, 13 December, 2012 11:33

Apparently you have never worked as a headline writer for a (space-constrained) newspaper! I consider your letters to be among the finest I receive. Please keep writing, but be aware that I strive to space letter writers timewise (preferably no more than once every three weeks).

Shabbat shalom,

Lawrence Rifkin
Senior Editor
Letters Editor
The Jerusalem Post