Are They Teaching Anything In J-School These Days?

What is wrong with this headline?? Sheeeesh!!
Turkey Arrests Suicide Bombing Suspects

By LOUIS MEIXLER, Associated Press Writer

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Turkish investigators arrested suspects Friday in the deadly suicide bombings of the British consulate and a London-based bank that were blamed on al-Qaida. The United States and other countries, meanwhile, warned that terrorists could target Turkey with more attacks.

Source: Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines


“You have the right to remain silent! Gobblegobblegobble!

“Next, on Fox! Turkey Cops!”

I work at my college paper, the Indiana Daily Student. I do the page layout, which is the last step before the paper gets sent to the press. The page layout also determines the amount of space available for a particular headline.

Us page designers know what stories are on our page before we actually have access to the stories (they’re usually going through copy desk or something at that time), so sometimes we arrange our pages and make up some funny headlines related to the story.

What usually happens is that the page will be laid out with this dummy text for the headlines, and then the editors come back and write the real headlines on the computers. Often times there are quite a few amusing suggestions before the final form. They usually don’t slip through.

The funniest one that did last year was “Plam trees arrive in Indiana”

I feel very stupid-I don’t get it.

Me neither. :frowning:

A turkey arrested the people.

As in thanksgiving dinner arrested people.

The people were dead.

Suicide bombers.

They arrested suicide bombers.

Livestock arrested dead people.

Yes, but any person with an IQ in the double digits knows that Turkey is also the name of a country. The headline would be no different referring to any other country; it could have said “France Arrests Deoderant Smugglers,” for example.

Further, the headline does not say that suicide bombers were arrested, but “Suicide bombing suspects,” a phrase which clearly refers to co-conspirators in a suicide bombing.

I think the headline is perfectly adequate. Not quite Leno material.

I go to J-School, and I don’t see anything wrong with the headline. The only change I might’ve made would be to drop the “suicide” to remove any ambiguity about whether the arrestee was alive or dead.

As friedo pointed out, Turkey is the name of a country as well as a bird and most readers should be intelligent enough to figure that out from the context. Birds don’t arrest people, but countries do.


What’s the point of teaching journalism any more? Journalism as a profession depends on a free press, and that’s fast going the way of the full-service gas station. All we’re gonna have in a few years are op-ed writers of various stripe. Faux News is the way of the future.

Yeah, but there’s more to it than that. I’m learning stuff like management, programming, regulation, and all that sort of thing.

And I’m resigned to working for Clear Channel. :shrug:


Oh, I thought the OP was refering to bad spelling or grammar.
‘Turkey’ is a country, and ‘suspects’ means people involved in the bombing, i.e. the people who planned it, not the people who carried it out. Therefore I failed to see any fault with the headline other than the childish they said a turkey arrested people!, huh huh! huh. yeah, huh huh!

Okay, now I get it.

It’s just not funny.

It’s funny if the first thing that leaps to mind is not the literal meaning, but a wild vision of a gobbler putting the cuffs on what’s left of a suicide bomber. Yeh, sick funny, I know.

I think the degree of humor depends on the twistedness of the mind perceiving the headline. Also, perhaps, the readiness of said mind to engage in puns and wordplay wherever possible.

Inhaling might have something to do with it, too. :wink:

I’ll second that, Garfield226, from my experience working on a college paper. We, however, did not plan nearly as well as you do, and we editors generally spent all night on production night getting the paper out. Ah, memories of Mini Thins (you could still get 'em OTC then) and Easy Cheese on crackers …

Sometimes, if a headline was appropriate but had an amusing possible interpretation, we let it pass. Never on my page, of course. :wink: