Politics

Friday, October 11, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Ruffin' Fur Rudy

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 11:30 AM

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Friends In MAGA Places

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 12:11 PM

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Star Gets It Right About Pima County Standardized Test Scores

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 2:41 PM

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Since my last post was a rant about some misleading headlines in Tuesday's Star, let me begin this post by saying, the headline for this Star article is right on the money.
Pima County students lag rest of Arizona in passing standardized math tests
Here's what I like about it.

First, it focuses on Pima County, not TUSD. Star headlines and stories about standardized test scores often focus on TUSD's scores, which are always lower than most other districts in the area. Knocking TUSD sells papers, which is the only reason I can figure that the Star is so fond of going for the district's jugular. But not this time.

Second, by saying the Pima County scores are lower than the state average in math, the headline implies that county schools equalled the rest of the state in English, which you learn in the story is true. I even like the word "lag," which suggests that the math scores trail the rest of the state, but not by much. That's true as well. Statewide, 42 percent of students passed the math test. In Pima County, it was 40 percent.

A good headline is a good headline is a good headline. Let me raise my glass and toast its creators.

The story is even better than the headline. When the Star's annual standardized test stories come out, I often find myself shaking my head and muttering, "Comparing district test scores means nothing unless you factor in family incomes." Then I sit down and write a post picking the article apart.

But as I read this article, I found myself nodding "Yes." After the first three paragraphs summarizing the county scores, the reporter launches into a discussion of why the districts' scores break down the way they do.

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Claytoon of the Day: Chinese Dribbling

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 2:34 PM

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Star's Creative Headline Writing Team Was Hard At Work In Tuesday's Print Edition

Posted By on Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 2:07 PM

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A headline sitting atop an op-ed in the Star's Tuesday print edition jumped out at me this morning.
What's worse? Schiff's parody or GOP's fantasies?
Did the column's author really find Schiff's parody of Trump's call with Ukraine's President Zelensky bad, then try to figure out whether or not it was worse than the GOP's fantasies?

Absolutely not. The author praises Schiff's use of parody and calls the Republican outrage   "overwrought," "disingenuous" and "easily dismissible."

That's the ease conveyed by two headlines I found elsewhere.
Impeachment and the death of parody
and
We should mourn parody’s demise
You'll find the first version on the Star's website.

What the Star's Creative Headline Writing Team wrote is a classic example of false equivalency. "I guess both Schiff and the Republicans were acting badly," it implies. If Crisp wrote that, fine, but it's nowhere to be found in his column.

In 2010 I posted regularly about the Star's tendency to rewrite headlines to make them more conservative-friendly. I even conducted a poll where readers could choose the worst Star headline of the year. For years after that, I rarely spotted a blatantly misleading headline. Until recently, that is. In September I caught at least three of them in the print edition.

If it sounds like I'm nitpicking, I'm not. Headlines are the first thing people read — for many stories the only thing they read. When the heads don't accurately reflect the content of the story, readers get an incorrect sense of the story. Even if people read beyond the headline, those words in big, boldface type have an effect on how they understand the actual story.

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Claytoon of the Day: Kurds Get Trumped

Posted By on Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 12:18 PM

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: The First Crime Family Condemns Crime Families

Posted By on Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 1:00 PM

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: North Korean Thong Attack

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 12:08 PM

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Staff Pick

31st Annual Women's Leadership Conference

The strength of a great leader is cultivated by the wisdom of many. We are all on… More

@ JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa Tue., Oct. 15, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.

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Popular Content

  1. The Star Gets It Right About Pima County Standardized Test Scores (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Claytoon of the Day: Chinese Dribbling (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Things to Do, Thursday, Oct. 10 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Claytoon of the Day: Friends In MAGA Places (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. The Star's Creative Headline Writing Team Was Hard At Work In Tuesday's Print Edition (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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