Newsweek Apologizes for Border-Crasher Headline About Migrant Children

Jun 21, 2014
9:46 AM

In response to a headline calling Honudran child migrants “border-crashers,” last night Latino Rebels received the following quote from Newsweek’s managing editor Kira Bindrim:

While no offense was intended—if we didn’t think this was an important issue, we wouldn’t have Karla [Zabludovsky] covering it—we understand that the headline was insensitive, and so changed it after speaking with the reporter. We’re a small newsroom doing a lot quickly, but we always endeavor to balance attention-grabbing headlines with accuracy and sensitivity.

The “border-crashers” headline was published on June 19. Here is the screen grab (with our editorial reaction to it):


After tweeting Zabludovsky, Newsweek’s Latin American correspondent, the headline soon changed to this:


According to Zabludovsky, she did not write the headline, and when we brought it up to her attention, she said in her tweet that she would ask for the headline to change.

Maybe in the small newsroom that is now Newsweek, reporters should write their own headlines or at least be informed of the possible headline before a story is published? That’s a standard practice in most digital newsrooms, and we are guessing that Newsweek will rethink it’s workflow after this unfortunate editorial choice.

Media narratives and perceptions matter.

PS The use of “collect” was also in poor taste. These kids are not trash.