A very unfortunate title

The SMH currently has a top of front page story with a very unfortunate heading. What is not clear until you click the link is that the title has been truncated so that the last word is missing; in full, the title is: “Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes abused daughter’s friend, court told”.

Worse, as shown on the front page, the comma has been replaced with a colon.

So the statement on the front page is “X is Y: court”, while in the full story it is “X is Y, court told”.

The way it is expressed on the front page inaccurately converts it to a statement that originated with the Court (which carries the implication of a finding by the Court) rather than one that (as is the case) originated with a witness. Not good at all. 

The use of “allegedly” in the first paragraph is also poor. If that over-used term is to be used at all, it should be: “It has been alleged in Court that X …”. Far better: “A witness today in the trial of X told the Court that Y”.

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