World's shortest man dies. Correction: the former world's shortest man dies
Updated: Jan 19, 2020
In a challenge for reportage today, headline writers were trapped between snappy copy and accuracy. The former won the day with leading news agencies reporting that the world's shortest man, 27-year-old Khagendra Thapa Magar, died overnight.
This assertion is clearly false as the world's shortest man will clearly always be alive and a contest for the world's shortest skeleton is the preserve, quite literally, of museum curators.
Tabloid writers tried to keep the obituaries tasteful. "World's shortest man: A life cut short" reported the Sunday Telegraph.
"World's shortest man taken at the height of his powers" was the lede from The Courier.
News editors know that death, as in life, needs to be respected.