Wednesday January 23, 2008

The consequence of writing a bad headline

When CNet posted Greg Sandoval's interview with Trent Reznor, I found it to be a very interesting read, but thought the headline was pretty peculiar. Given all the things he talked about, I know I felt that a passing mention of an ISP tax seemed to be a peculiar choice of a lead. The headline was changed not long after we posted about the article, but not before it was picked up by various aggregators and "lazy journalists" as Trent mentioned in his latest blog. In response, Greg Sandoval posted an audio clip of the interview with the erroneous claim that Trent says he was misquoted.

Mr. Sandoval also posted a comment on the blog:

Hi Trent,
Greg Sandoval here from CNET, the author of the Q&A interview you are referring to. I don't know if Ed passed along my e-mail to you, but you should know I changed a poorly written headline early on the day the story published and explained why the headline was changed. As for your comments in the interview, they are just as you said them I assure you. I can let you listen to the tape if you wish. I am grateful for the interview.

I think that the reporter, Greg, didn't necessarily have an agenda, but no doubt (assuming Cnet functions in any way like the newspaper I used to work at) the editors at Cnet who chose the headline went with something that misled headline skimmers with regards to the general content of the interview. It's crappy journalism on the part of whoever wrote the headline. It probably got them more ad impressions, though.

Also, Heath is dead.