Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Poor Headline

NPR has an article on Sunday's protests titled, "Following Arab world's lead, Mexicans rise up".

This is a poor comparison from the headline writer, for a number of different reasons. 1) Calderón isn't a dictator; 2) No one was asking for Calderón to leave office or the country; 3) Such marches have happened several times in the past without any Arab Spring to motivate them; 4) The spark for the protests --the murder of Javier Sicilia's son-- has no good corollary in the Arab world's recent turmoil; 5) The issue is not political opening, but rather the levels of violence in Mexico.

The article, written by Ioan Grillo, who is about as reliable a reporter on Mexico as there is, is much more circumspect; regarding the comparison inspiring the headline, he has only three short paragraphs (out of 23 total) that include any reference to the Middle East, one of them a quote. This is not the first time an NPR headline has put too fine a point, and in the processed totally mucked up, a more nuanced article.


gtodon said...

Reason #6 that it's a lousy headline: Mexicans are not "rising up." The credible estimates I saw ranged from 65,000 to 150,000 demonstrators in the Zócalo. Yawn. Here in Guanajuato, a city of 170,000, a whopping total of 50 marchers showed up. Mexicans tell pollsters that they care about the violence, but for whatever reason, they're not voting with their feet.

pc said...

Yeah I've mentioned the lack of attendance in previous posts. I think that has more to do with this particular protest than anything, as others in the past have been much better attended. But in any event, nothing that reaches the level of "rising up" like the Egyptians did. Not even close.