Is the headline “SC man dies, wife injured in domestic shootings” reasonable for the facts it reports?

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Here is the text of the story as it appeared in the online version of my local newspaper:

Posted on Mon, Feb. 22, 2010
SC man dies, wife injured in domestic shootings
The Associated Press

Police say a South Carolina man shot and killed himself after shooting his wife in the head.

Multiple media outlets reported that Therese Eddinger was being treated at the Medical University of South Carolina hospital in Charleston.

The Dorchester County coroner’s office says 49-year-old Grayland Keith Eddinger of North Charleston died from a gunshot wound Sunday afternoon.

Police were called to the couple’s home about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet says the woman apparently was shot once in the side of her head and Eddinger walked off and turned the gun on himself. The coroner says Eddinger has a brother who lived in the house with the couple and saw what happened.

Why is the title of the piece so ambiguous? Why not the seemingly more accurate: “Man kills himself after attempting to murder wife”? The headline makes it sound like the man got the worst end of the deal, rather than being the cause of the tragedy.

–Ann Bartow

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One Response to Is the headline “SC man dies, wife injured in domestic shootings” reasonable for the facts it reports?

  1. bob coley jr says:

    after attempting to kill his wife, S.C. man kills himself. Put the focus on the man’s actions and leave it there.

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