I have noticed a that the BBC News website seems to use quotes in their headlines in places where I can see no reason to do so. Take the following story:

Julius Malema: South Africa issues 'arrest warrant'

Which on the front page, even more noticably is headed

S Africa issues Malema 'warrant'

Why does the word "warrant" warrant quotes? Surely there's no legal or attributional 'reason' to do so? Surely these are just plain facts? If you're going to put quotes around "warrant" you might as well put quotes around "issues" too.

I find this very 'annoying' because to me it reads like they're casting doubt on the news they're 'reporting'.

(Arrgh, it's 'catching')

EDIT: Of course I know the reason for the use of quotes in newspaper stories. I am asking why the BBC in particular uses them so much. In an attempt to reopen this question, I submit another example:

Turkey trial: Three army generals jailed for 'coup plot'

In this story, the three generals in question have been sentenced. So why the quotes?

Apple promises maps app will 'improve'

In this story, sure "improve" is a quote from an Apple source, but I don't understand why it should be put in quotes. Surely the "Apple promises..." part makes this clear?

closed as not constructive by user19148, FumbleFingers, TimLymington, Robusto, Hellion Sep 21 '12 at 22:00

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    In this particular instance it seems to be because Mr. Malema's lawyer claims a warrant has been issued, but "The authorities have refused to comment on reports about the arrest warrant." – StoneyB Sep 21 '12 at 20:58
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    I think this is non-constructive "peeving". OP is obviously familiar with such use of quote marks, since he does it himself. In this specific case it seems likely BBC aren't completely convinced an actual arrest warrant has in fact been issued (the story goes on to say the relevant authorities refuse to comment). – FumbleFingers Sep 21 '12 at 21:01
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    @StoneyB: IANAL, but if I were, I'd have advised you to either use quote marks yourself, or refer to it as a so-called arrest warrant :) – FumbleFingers Sep 21 '12 at 21:03
  • It's not just in this case. I can add other examples if necessary. – Groky Sep 21 '12 at 21:15
  • @FumbleFingers What else is it you think I should have enclosed in quotes? I thought of "claims", but this is my word, not from the story. – StoneyB Sep 21 '12 at 21:28

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