Jerusalem Truck Ramming Terror Attack: Headline Fails

The truck ramming terror attack in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood that has, so far, claimed the lives of four Israelis and injured many others, generated many headlines around the world.

Why do the headlines matter? As we’ve noted, most people simply skim headlines, both in newspapers and on social media, and do not read most of the actual articles that are presented to them. So for many casual readers who don’t closely follow the Israeli-Arab conflict, all they know about the latest in the Mideast is from the headlines and alerts of articles they don’t read.

In this case, many casual readers will simply be unaware of two salient points:

  • A terror attack has taken place;
  • It was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist.

Here are a selection of the worst cases of headline bias in the immediate aftermath of the attack. What they all have in common is the attribution of responsibility for the attack to a vehicle, truck or lorry despite the fact that a driver, in this case a Palestinian terrorist, was behind the wheel.

CNN:

 

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New York Times:

 

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The Guardian:

 

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RTE Ireland:

 

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ITV News UK:

 

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The Daily Beast:

 

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National Public Radio:

 

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ABC News Australia even added scare quotes to the word “attack”:

 

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You can see what the BBC did with its coverage here and the total failure that was the International Business Times’ coverage here.

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