What impression would the headline about David Brandon's hiring on the front page of the Detroit Free Press's website have you believe?
New U-M AD Brandon doesn’t fear NCAA probe
Except, well, no.
That headline links through to the Freep's normal story, which is a straight story about Brandon's hiring.
Take it from a journalist (I am one): The story should absolutely make reference to the NCAA probe Brandon is inheriting. It'd be irresponsible to exclude it. As the story itself is written, it gets three grafs in the middle of the story, which is appropriate.
But what's deceptive is the headline the Freep is slapping on its front-page story (which is far different from its hed within the story, the far less charged: "University of Michigan officially selects David Brandon as athletic director).
Look, this practice happens all the time. Editors want to sex up and sell stories on their front page. There isn't anything wrong with it, per se.
HOWEVA, the choice for this, frankly, biased headline on the front page shows a conscious decisions by the Free Press's editors to a) frame the story as squarely part of their own, b.s. story on the practice "violations"; and b) keep the NCAA storyline alive by virtue of their own choice for the external headline.
The fact is that the NCAA component of Brandon's hiring is, by far and away, not the most salient takeaway from Brandon's hiring. Whatever that takeaway should be must be their main site's headline. Anything short of that ranges between irresponsibility and shoddy work by the Freep's editors.