Juxtaposition: cocaine deaths / adult cot death

Sarah pointed out this recent Metro front cover to me:

Metro front cover from 27 August

The lead headline reads:
Cocaine deaths jump by a fifth

The headline above the photo of the teenage girl reads:
'Angel' who died in her sleep at 16

At first glance, Sarah assumed that the girl had died after taking cocaine. However the copy alongside the photo begins:

This is Kelly Blair, a bubbly teenager whose life was cut short when she died in her sleep. The 16-year-old, described by her parents as their 'special angel', is thought to have been a victim of adult cot death, which kills around 150 people in Britain a year.

In other words, the picture caption is entirely unrelated to the cocaine story.

Sarah would like to know whether the juxtaposition of the two stories was intentional or unintentional. I'm not sure. What do you think?


The Ridger, FCD said...

Probably intentional, to get you to buy the paper.

But I don't think (could be wrong) that a US paper would say "adult cot death" (crib death, we say, and nowadays SIDS, both of which might prevent the use of this term) for a 16-year-old. Maybe they would, I don't think I've ever seen a story on the subject. But it struck me odd

-- said...

@ The Ridger - no neeed to get you to buy Metro as it's a free paper :)

But I'd agree that it was deliberate. The girl's picture clearly makes her look like a party girl, and she's also described as a "bubbly teenager" - which sounds intentionally euphemistic.

Pretty irresponsible sub-editing if you ask me. Can't be very nice for the parents to see that.

garicgymro said...

The Metro does a lot of this. A front cover I saw a few weeks ago had a headline about paedophilia and an entirely unrelated photo of a daddy playing with his girl.

That isn't good.

-- said...

@garik - if your recollection is accurate then that's absolutely despicable and I'd even say defamatory. Fair enough the cocaine example can't be libel because she's passed away; but if I were a father whose picture was beig juxtaposed with a headline story about paedophilia I'd be damn sure to sue. Especially if there was deliberate ambiguity of the sort going on in the cocaine example.

Metro seems to think that its tiny little black line dividing picture & article is sufficient to protect it legally. It's really not - they're playing with fire.

Gareth said...

I'm honestly shocked. I'd never noticed this before and would have assumed it to be an honest and unfortunate mistake. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for this kind of thing in the future.