As a former award-winning journalist and professor of journalism, I found the Feb. 23 front page headline “If you are Jewish, God help you” more than disappointing on the fine story written by Schuyler Kropf about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s presentation Sunday at the orthodox synagogue in downtown Charleston.
The quote was included near the end of the story and with context. The sentence on which the headline was based focused on the threat of Islamic State fighters, comparing it with Nazis.
The full sentence of the paragraph on which the headline was based, states, “If you are Christian you will convert or die,” he said. “If you are Jewish, God help you”
Headlines on serious stories should reflect their main content, rather than distort it. And that’s what copy editors at The Post and Courier generally do. But, I have to confess that the provocative headline may be what got it on the front page, which meant attracting more readers.
Jack Bass, Ph.D.