09 July 2007

This headline made me really angry

A 17 year old girl was shot dead in a pub near my home a couple of weeks ago. I don't read the local paper regularly, so only learned the news about a week later when I got off at a different stop and saw the police incident board outside the pub where it happened. A minute or two later I saw the front page headline on a board outside a newsagent: Teenage party girl shot dead .

She was a 17 year old girl, out celebrating after her exams. The body of the story is told more sympathetically, so why does the headline make it sound like she deserved to die by using the standard tabloid euphemism for 'druggy tart'?

I think of the some dives where I drank and went clubbing when I was 17, and some of the people who were around (some of whom undoubtedly had access to guns) and I wonder what the headlines would have been if anything bad had happened to me.

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