I was interested to see your reporting (actually the AP’s reporting) on the State of the Union message. The initial impression might have been that it would be even-handed, given the headline about Trump’s call for unity and the fact that there were two symmetrically placed articles below, one a review of the speech and the other a review of the rebuttal. However, the speech review headline was in relatively ordinary print, not too large, a matter-of-fact listing of two of the points covered. The rebuttal review headline was in much larger, very bold print, with an emotional and divisive tone. Which one would attract the attention of most readers? Though the articles were from the AP and reflect the feelings of their journalists about their subject matter, I have to assume the choice or approval of the headlines is yours and makes clear your biases and the points and attitudes you wish to impress on your readers.
Gail Johnsen, Hadley
Editor’s Note: Actually, the main headline on the page on the State of the Union speech was the largest headline on the page. The Democratic response was what we call a sidebar and its headline was about half the size of the main headline. While the subordinate headline was in a different, thinner font, the reason for that is to allow more room to write a headline in a narrow one column space. This is normal design treatment that features the State of the Union as the main story and the Democratic response as the subordinate secondary story. The design is actually the opposite of what the letter write insinuates. Neither article reflect “feelings” from journalists. That is not allowed in news stories. After reviewing both stories, we stand by the content as factual and accurate and that the headlines accurately summarize the content of both speeches.