Inside WRAL

Taking heat for a headline

Posted September 16, 2009

As a web editor, I know firsthand that writing about death is never an easy job. We found ourselves in a strange situation yesterday with regards to writing an appropriate headline.

We found out that Mount Olive police had found two people dead at a cemetery – a 29-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl. Police did not know the cause of death at that time.

We took some heat for our headline: "Two found dead in Wayne County cemetery." One reader criticized us for writing a "sorry headline." Another said they felt for the family, but "the way the headline read made me chuckle."

Police later gave us more information about the deaths, so we were able to change our headline so it made more sense.

But, we’d like to know ... how would you have handled the situation? If you knew that two people were found dead in a cemetery, how would you have written the headline?


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Inside WRAL takes you behind the scenes of the news business and the stories we cover.