The Tribune Company bankruptcy case

How important are headlines? How often do newspapers frame stories to put a different light on the same event? Look at how two Chicago newspapers handled the same story, court examiner Kenneth Klee’s findings in the Tribune Company Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and the leveraged buyout of 2007.

The Chicago Tribune ran a headline that stated “Examiner: Tribune Co. buyout ‘marred.'” The Sun-Times took a different view, with a headline that read: “Examiner finds fraud evidence in Tribune sale.” The stories read like two separate versions of the same story.

Chicago is one of the few cities remaining with open competition between multiple traditional forms of media. The Sun-Times will poke at the Trib when it gets the chance. And the Trib will try to put itself in the very best light when confronted with controversy.

This isn’t even politics but you can certainly see bias in the two articles. Even an AP story, which ran in the Tribune, had a biased headline. Is it OK for journalists to report news in this way?