The Hartford Courant here places rape trial coverage above the happy seniors having such a good time with all their happy choices in their life.
Look at this closely. Regardless of the reasons in the Njoku doctor-rape case here, for the "yelling, surprises, setbacks" at the trial, the attitude of the totality -- have a good laugh -- intended or not, is inappropriate.
Dangers. Persuasion on an image-level, where the visual will have more impact than the words.
Is the placement mere editorial carelessness, or another way to try to put issues with a partisan slant, women's rights against sexual imposition, on a back burner to be forgotten by those with power to legislate. Put one article against another that undercuts it, and blur the message for readers, voters. The cynical side says, this was intentional and exceptionally deniable, thus effective. Rape is a joke. Why really curb its aggression and violence in the military, in professions, in politics, in religious institutions, in families. Rape has always been around. Fuss a few times, but does it really matter. A newspaper has power to shape reader response by its spin -- not only in wording, but visual imagery. Voters in our area have no choice but this is our only local daily. Partisan saturation when seen with the TV, and embedded tellers of the tales with Fox.
It is not new, to use visuals to push an agenda under the radar. Look back at 2007, Candidate Obama in New Hampshire, and the Courant coverage by photo, compared to that of the opponent, see the promotion of fear, undertainty and doubt by means of journalism techniques at http://joyofequivocating.blogspot.com/2007/10/fud-in-political-photos-raising-fear.html?q=new+hampshire
Agenda promotion by placement?
Deniability. It works. Do it, and then be shocked, shocked that the result came out this way. The Courant seldom separates editorializing through wording from objective complete news coverage. It does not have to. there is no obligation for journalists to separate opinion from alleged fact. It is up to us to protect ourselves. Still, some of us in this community, had hoped against reason that the Sam Zell purchase of the Courant and Tribune chain some years ago would somehow retain the old Courant's notable and historic dignity and journalistic professionalism. Not so. Old predictions come true, see http://hellofodderhellobuyer.blogspot.com/2008/08/presenting-sam-zell-and-shareholders.html
America's oldest continuously published newspaper. Correction. America's oldest continuously published spinpaper. The art of selling an idea by means of its close position to another. Ask as to each article, choice of wording, what is being sold here.
* Fair use, see http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html