June 4, 2018 by jacklovelace
I was reading online and ran across the story in USA Today on the Supreme Court ruling on the baker in Colorado refusing to make a cake for a gay couple on religious grounds.
The headline said a “divided” Supreme Court ruled in the baker’s favor.
I assumed it was one of those 5-4 Supreme Court rulings.
I began the story, that also called the court divided in the lead. Oh no. It was 7-2. Divided?
Would 8-1 still be divided?
When you load things up that much, you assume the writer is carrying a lot of feelings into the story, which is not their job.
Later I saw heads and leads referring to a “narrow” decision, which is actually right on the mark since it made no sweeping pronouncements. Which is no doubt why it was 7-2 instead of closer.
Journalism needs precision, not feelings, when the job is supposed to be strictly reporting the news.