On Oct 15, 2:07 pm, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds" <atlas-
Even though every fiber of my being tells me not to, I'll defend Home
He said: "Finally, a *headline writer* with some guts/balls."
In the vast majority of instances, the author of the article (e.g. the
person who used the words "investigators believe") is not the same
person who write the headlines.
Headlines are usually written by the copy editors as they piece the
paper together, trying to fit everything onto the pages while grabbing
your attention so that you'll buy their paper and/or hang around their
In this case, the copy editor had the sack to leave out the word
"allegedly". In addition, the author simply regurgitated what the
"investigators believe" and didn't write anything that could be
considered libelous or non-libelous.
Either it was by me, or I thought about it and didn't post, or I
should have thought of it and didn't, or the guy wasn't dead. People
did give the reason of libel suits, didn't they?
The fifth possibility is that they are in the habit of saying
allegedly and it's easier to always do so than to make a choice each
time, because assuredly they will eventually choose wrong and open
themselves up to a libel suit when the guy can prove he's innocent.
In the US iirc, a successful libel suit has to show that the
statements were false. In Britain, the alleged libeler has to show
that the statements he made were true. Makes people accused of libel
in England much more vulnerable Truth is a defense in both places bu
the burden of proof is on the respondent in England.
I tried to make that point to Homeguy a couple months ago
when he last brought this subject up. If you're running a
news organization who's going to decide when to use the
word allegedly and when not too? What would be the
criteria? And how much time are
you going to waste each time you have to decide. The
news organization doesn't want to be making the call
if the party in question really did commit the offense or not,
for ethical as well as legal reasons.
Simple solution is to always use "allegedly". Don't think
any of us have a problem with that, with one exception.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.