Tribune Headline Bias on ComEd Bailout/ Rate Hike Bill

Here is the headline from the front page article yesterday in the Chicago Tribune about the failure of the State Senate to pass a bill that everyone agrees will hike electric rates for Commonwealth Edison customers:

Note that the immediate impact of the legislation is not mentioned in the headline.

Smoke stacks at Springfield’s coal-fired electric generating plant.

Instead, the emphasis is on the effort to close coal-fired generating plants in 2035.


Tribune Headline Bias on ComEd Bailout/ Rate Hike Bill — 10 Comments

  1. How is that bias?

    That’s literally what has stalled the talks.

  2. Alabama, take a remedial reading course at MCC.

    ~~Hope it doesn’t conflict with any gender queer ‘classes.”

  3. Oh, CornPop, you’re cute.

    But please do tell me where I’m wrong.

    Be specific.

  4. Yeah, I think I agree with Shake (and I’ll add the talks should be stalled because shutting down coal plants is bad).

    The status of the bill is stalled because of the contentious issue of whether fossil fuel should be discontinued.

    That seems objective to me.

    For the sake of this thread, how should this headline have been worded?

    What would be the alternative headline?

    How would you squeeze in the impact of this bill in the headline (keep in mind you don’t have too many words to work with)?

    And if you’re focusing on the negative consequences of the bill in the headline, wouldn’t that be more biased than this headline (albeit biased in a different direction)?

    I don’t find Chicago Tribune to be a wacky left-wing paper, although admittedly I’m not a devout reader of it.

    Leftists seem to hate it and call it a conservative paper.

    It seems less wacky than the Northwest Herald.

    I thought I heard the Trib just got sold to some big venture capital firm and many people are being laid off.

    By the way, Jeanne Ives has a new Breakthrough Ideas video on YouTube that is all about coal and green energy.

    The guest was Yvette Herrell, a congresswoman from New Mexico.

  5. In the late 1970’s I asked one of the two Springfield reporters why he was on the train to Chicgao.

    He told me he was going to Milwaukee to the Socialist Convention.

    Another Springfield reported ended up running a gay rights organization.

  6. Cal – that doesn’t answer my question about how this headline (likely not written by reporters, btw) is biased.

    YOU want a biased headline, that supports your view.

    The Trib headline wasn’t biased and was, in fact, what actually is happening.

  7. Headlines, it seems to me, should reflect what will most directly affect readers.

    In this case it is not a 2035 closing of coal-fired electric plants, but immediate increase in electric rates.

  8. The headline reflects the story that they’re telling, about why the bill stalled.

    Just because you want them to tell another story doesn’t mean it is biased.

  9. So maybe you would have titled it “Electric Rates to Increase if Energy Bill Passes”

    I guess that wouldn’t be biased if you’re just telling the truth. It’s short and to the point too.

    I have not read this article (Trib usually has a paywall for their articles) but I’m guessing a lot of the story was, like Shake said, about the politics of the bill and the dilemmas that politicians find themselves in, not so much how this bill will affect the average person. (If that’s the case, the headline makes sense.)

    Would the latter be more useful?



    One could say that for the average person, talking about the effects would be more useful.

    On the other hand, the newspaper is a specific product with its own niche consumer.

    People who read the Tribune are probably somewhat educated and into politics.

    They might prefer a story about the politics of the bill.

    They’re nerds, Cal.

  10. Someday these corporate crooks will be thrown down those chimneys.

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