Netizens give headline writing lessons after Uson cries fake news over GMA News’ headline

Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson deleted her post accusing GMA News of writing fake news about the 17 rescued hostages in Marawi City, but netizens corrected her over her accusation, while giving her headline writing lessons.
Uson tried to correct GMA News over their headline that said, “17 rescued Marawi hostages about to be beheaded – AFP chief.”

This is what she wrote:

“Sa headline ng GMA 7 ‘about to be beheaded” ang nakalagay sa headline, meaning pupugutan ng ulo pagka-rescue.

Pero malinaw na ang sinabi ng AFP CHIEF ay “WERE about to be beheaded” meaning bago sila mapugutan ay na-irescue.

Eto ang halimbawa ng FAKE NEWS



Unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances. – The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine ranging from P200 to P1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon:

  1. Any person who by means of printing, lithography, or any other means of publication shall publish or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order, or CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE INTEREST OR CREDIT OF THE STATE;


Uson posted this with a screenshot of GMA News report on October 8 about the rescued hostages to show what Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año said about the rescue, “Tamang tama iyong timing ng pagka-rescue natin dito kasi they were about to be beheaded.” She even underlined the word “were” to emphasize her point about GMA News using the wrong headline and sharing fake news.

Screenshot by of Uson’s now deleted Facebook post

However, Uson must have misunderstood what GMA News was trying to say. The headline was actually relaying the same thing as Año’s statement, but without the inclusion of the auxiliary verb “were,” a common practice when it comes to writing news headlines.

According to, one of the rules in writing newspaper headlines is to “leave out auxiliary verbs.” One of the examples that was given by the website was how a headline should say, “Four stranded in sudden flood,” which meant to say four people were stranded or have been stranded.

Some netizens reacted to Uson’s new accusation against GMA News.

“Thats journalism 101, is were are… are not used in headlines, they are dropped. Somebody send her to journalism class pls,” one Twitter user wrote.

Facebook user Mark Aranduque also tried to explain the basics of copyreading and headlining through a post that has been shared almost 400 times since it was posted on October 10.

“In headlining, we omit unnecessary words. The shorter the headline, the better. But FACTS must remain intact,” Aranduque wrote.

“We are not aiming for a COMPLETE SENTENCE HERE and put a PERIOD at the end of the headline or use unnecessary VERB IN PAST FORM,” he explained.

Uson has previously hit GMA News for what she alleged was fake news written about her by the news company about her taking a “selfie” inside a mosque in Marawi. But GMA News insisted that they simply quoted ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong who criticized Uson for taking her boots inside the mosque and seemingly taking a selfie.

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