1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

NYT Aversion To The "T" Word

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Boom_70, May 15, 2011.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Interesting story by public editor today on editorial decisions on whether or not to use the word "torture" in it's news stories.


    Based on this I bet the debate on use of "muslim" was some conversation.
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Um, er, about that fourth word in your post ...
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Is it common for online headlines to differ from the one in the print edition?
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Does Reuters still not use the term "terrorists"?
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    opps - Freudian slip I guess. Thx
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Absolutely. SEO is the lay of the Internet land.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Right. I remember this being covered in an earlier thread. But, the Times article made it sound unusual -- at least at the times.
  8. Torture has a legal definition. The Times and other right-thinking papers generally try to avoid using legal terms unless there has been a judicial finding. (You won't see a reference to a vehicular homicide as a "murder," or a suspicious fire as an "arson.")

    Of course, "torture" has a colloquial meaning as well. The problem with that, though, is torture actually has many colloquial meanings. What is the threshold? Waterboarding? Stress positions? Sleep deprivation?

    There is no universally accepted non-legal definition. As a result, any use of the term outside the legal meaning does no service to the reader. When a journalists refers to "torture," it will not be clear what the author is referring to.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    What about the time-tested, Supreme Court-approved, legal definition of, "I know it when I see it"?
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Makes sense. Your explanation was clearer than that of The Times Public Editor.
  11. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    No matter how many tutorials we have, I don't think I'll ever get it.

    Why, for example, when doing a Google search for "Bulls defeat Heat Eastern Conference Finals" . . .

    . . . is "www.indycornrows.com" (a Pacers blog) the second link?

    And no Chicago or South Florida newspaper on the front page of search?
  12. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    "For me, it's when the penis goes in."
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page