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Headlines sell stories, Thursday lab (153)

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  1. Nicole Manske
    October 1, 2008 at 1:19 am

    I liked the headline on the front page of the Omaha World-Herald Sunday, September 28. It read: “Will there be anything left?” I felt this was an appropriate headline with the right tone. Both the article and headline give you the feeling of concern. The headline also did more then “tell” the story, but personalized it for the reader and drove a huge, complicated issue home. This “selling” of the story worked well with the graphic of the cracking nest egg.

  2. Grant Triplett
    October 3, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    “Dog calls 911 after owner has seizure”
    This headline was on the msnbc.com weird news front page. Pretty much any headline on that page gets my attention. It is the most entertaining section to read, in my opinion. This headline captivates readers because they want to see if it’s true or misleading. It is a true story and is an interesting read. Novelty sells. I suppose that’s why the National Enquirer and other tabloids do so well, even if they are less than accurate.

  3. Courtney Robinson
    October 5, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr.asp?fpVname=MO_KCS&ref_pge=gal&b_pge=4
    Front page of The Kansas City Star, a paper in Kansas City, Mo.

    Election 2008 The presidential face-off

    BRIDGING THE RACIAL DIVIDE?

    I like this headline for three reasons.

    First, it is a question that everybody – voter or not – is asking. This is a presidential race involving race and this is the first headline that I’ve read that addresses it professionally.

    Second, it’s a great headline that depicts its picture well. The picture that goes along with this headline is of John McCain and Barack Obama merged together as one person – half of McCain on the left and half of Obama on the right. They mesh perfectly – their faces, ties, shirt collars, etc. It is an amazing picture that also depicts their political party – red background and tie for McCain, and a blue background and tie for Obama.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, it compels me to read the entire story. I am curious to how they answer this question. I am also curious to what sources they used to answer this question, and how those sources may have caused them to answer one way and not the other – bias.

    In conjunction with reading, this headline also tells the story, sells the story and aims for complete thoughts.

  4. Garret Durst
    October 5, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    When I went to Miami this past weekend, I decided to pick up a few newspapers for my research paper. But when I purchased a Sun Sentinel on Friday, something caught my attention. And that was the headline, Dancing with the IRS: Castroneves indicted. Two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves was indicted on tax evasion and tax fraud charges. Castroneves was also accused of using offshore accounts to hide millions of dollars. Right under the front page headline of the Bailout situation was Castroneves headline. This really caught my attention because I’m a big fan of racing and Castroneves is as big as it gets in that sport. But what is interesting about this headline is how they played his dancing with the stars fame into it. Castroneves was on the show, Dancing with the Stars, and when I seen this headline it immediately caught my eye. I felt that this is a very catchy headline because a good majority of people probably know Castroneves from that show. For me, this headline caught my attention because he is a famous race car driver. When you combine his fame with the show, I feel you have a unique headline that catches both parties.
    Dancing with the IRS is serious yet funny. I guarantee this headline caught a lot of peoples attention because it got the attention of my father. He picked up the same paper and said that headline grabbed him into reading the rest of the story. I felt that the placement of the headline is also in good position to draw attention. The headline is right underneath the Bailout scandal which is a guarantee to be seen.
    This was one of the best headlines I have seen because I didn’t have to look for it. When you don’t have to search for a good headline and find one is when you know that headline is catchy.

  5. William Whited
    October 7, 2008 at 12:31 am

    From surfing news Web sites, I found an interesting article: Six found dead in Porter Ranch home. The headline caught my attention and the story was easy to read. What initially attracted my attention to this story was a shocking brief glimpse earlier in the day of CNN’s televised Headline News story. According to police, the death of financial advisor Karthik Rajaram and his family was a murder-suicide.

    The online LA Times appears to have covered this story under the centerpiece feature fairly well. However, I noticed a few inconsistencies in the front page lead where police are not attributed. While I understand the use of numbers may be attractive to grab attention, I can’t help but notice the error with numbers. The LA Times used the number 6 in the front page lead and the word six after the reader clicks the Web link for the full article. I don’t know if that is a matter of publication style, but it is not consistent with the AP. Another issue that bothered me about the article was its labeling of the father of the family as the “gunman” and the other members as “victims.” The article would have looked better if the father had been identified as the father.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-porterranch7-2008oct07,0,7425239.story

  6. Sarah Tenorio
    October 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I looked at a variety of newspaper front pages on Tuesday and I found that a lot of headlines were dramatic. I do understand that what happened Monday was extreme and scary. But I appreciated the Dallas Morning News’ headline that said ‘Markets unravel at home and abroad’ because it did emphasize the severity of what happened but not in a way that sounded frightening like other papers.

    I also liked that it didn’t get too technical. It stated what happened in a few amount of words. Also it included that this is something that affected other countries which is important. It’s also bigger news. A lot of papers focused on how much Dow dropped which is also big, but it’s not something new that’s been happening aside from the actual number. The abroad angle is more fresh. They are both news, but I’d rather read about how this is affecting other countries now.

  7. Teresa Lostroh
    October 8, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    “McCain, Obama clash over cause, cures of crisis”

    This headline is from today’s Gadsen Times, a paper in Alabama. It’s (quite obviously) referring to last night’s second round of presidential debates. I like it because 1.) the economy was a pivotal part of the debate. And the economy is the “crisis” referred to in the headline. 2.) It’s catchy. Alliteration is a creative way to lure readers. It’s not a topic that would call for a cutesy head, but the one above is both catchy and serious. McCain, clash, cause, cures, crisis…the C’s just really work for me. Clash is also a strong verb–they weren’t just talking, or debating or discussing, they were “clashing.” I like that. However, it seems the copy editor stole some material from the reporter’s first paragraph. The reporter says “…clashed repeatedly over the causes and cures for the worst economic crisis…” Not cool, copy editor, but it still got me to read the story.

  8. Max Wohlgemuth
    October 8, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    My headline is from Wednesday’s (10/8) New York Times. The headline is, “In Blow to Bush, Judge Orders 17 Guantánamo Detainees Freed”. The headline is a little long, but it’s the New York Times. The story itself drew me in. I wanted to know instantly why the judges freed the detainees and why it would be a blow to President Bush.

    I like the headline because it gets a ton of information to the reader, but leaves out just enough to make the reader have to read the story. It works very well at getting the reader to read the story.

  9. Matthew Butts
    October 9, 2008 at 4:37 am

    “What October Really Needs.”

    This headline comes from ESPN. I liked it because it got straight to the point. I didn’t wonder what the article was about, but I did wonder what would be said. It implied that there was a problem that needed to be fixed and I wanted to know about it. If it weren’t from ESPN, or at least a sports section, this probably wouldn’t be a good headline. It wouldn’t relay enough information to determine what the story was about. I might be left thinking October was referring to the season as opposed to the MLB playoffs. Whoever wrote this headline knows the audience it appeals to.

  10. PJ Hunsicker
    October 9, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Lincoln Journal Star – Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    “Behind the smiles: Tough Talk”
    I thought this headline was brilliant. I think it’s one of the few down-to-earth depictions of a presidential race that the media has put forward. It’s evocative and gives reality to the idea that, though I’m certain they’re both good, friendly people, the presidential race for the people is a largely PR campaign and half of selling an image is just simple appearance. What we see is like the tip of an iceberg. We see smiles and good humor, while behind the scenes, these guys are two very different people who see things very differently, and not just in a sense that one is Democrat and the other is Republican. It’s a solid reminder of what the run for presidency actually is.

  11. Elizabeth Gamez
    October 9, 2008 at 7:23 am

    USA Today, Oct. 6
    “Massive Medicare fraud eyed in Miami”

    Although it was a simple to make use of alliteration with these subjects, I’m glad they rolled with it. The headline also clearly states what the story is about. The word choice is also great. The word “massive” is so accurate, since after all, the deck informs the readers that cost have risen 1,300 percent in five years. I think the use of “eyed” was the best among other words such as “found” or “discovered.” “Eyed” emphasizes that that at one time the fraud was overlooked. It’s strongly constructed and attracts the reader or at least me.

  12. Marlenia Thornton
    October 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    The headline that sparked my interest was in the Tuesday, October 7 edition of USA Today in the money section. The headline read “Cease-fire declared on Wachovia” then the sub-headline read “Principals agree to holster legal guns- for two days.” I like this headline because the editor played with concept of “cease-fire” which is typically used when talking about actual wars, but this time used to describe a legal battle between Wells Fargo Bank and Citigroup over Wachovia. I thought it was really clever, although a bit sensational. Then, I liked how the sub-headline added to the concept of the headline using “legal guns” which gave the reader more context and an idea of what the story was about. The editor’s play on words and concepts made me want to read a financial story that I wouldn’t typically want to read.

  13. Jamie Klein
    October 9, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr.asp?fpVname=FL_FT&ref_pge=gal&b_pge=1
    Oct. 9, 2008
    Florida Today Melbourne, FL

    I really liked the headline, “Gas relief at last.” If I lived in Florida again I would definitely give that paper a second glance.
    I like that it is simple. With only four words I already know what this article is going to be about — gas prices going down. The word “relief” makes me think that prices are going down and “at last” shows the reader that prices have been up for a long while.
    Headlines that are appealing to me are concise and informative, and I feel this one was.

  14. Stephani Ruiz
    October 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    New York Times, Oct. 8

    “Obama Wraps His Hopes in Economic Anxiety”

    I thought this was an interesting play on words and when I got to the New York Times website, there are so many news stories to choose from, I often scroll down the links and look at headlines. This particular headline grabbed my attention. It was specific enough to tell me what and who the story was about, but general enough that I was interested in reading further. Some headlines already have the news in the headline and there isn’t much of a point in reading the story. I noticed the AP wire on the sidebar of the webpage contained many of these types of headlines. The headline I chose was specific, but not too specific, and also contained good wording that made me visualize the topic.

  15. October 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    NY Times, Oct. 9. 2008
    “Awaiting Another Burial, This Time A Real One”

    this headline grabbed my attention immediately. Actually, what really grabbed me was the page one reference to the story, whose headline was “For Mobster, Long Trip to the Grave.”
    The story is about a NY mobster, William Cutolo, who died in 1999 and was found on Monday wrapped in a tarp in Long Island. The headline accurately summarizes the story, while peaking my curiousity to read further. It’s concise and informative, but also interesting.

  16. Allyson Felt
    October 16, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    NY Times, Tues. Oct. 7 2008

    “A Day (Gasp) Like Any Other”

    This headline grabbed me. I wanted to read the article because it seemed like the reporter has my sense of humor in reporting another “financial crisis” is just another daily occurance these days.

    The story was surrounded by serious stories of the financial crisis and the global economic fears, which I didn’t want to read because they seemed, well… boring.

    This headline stuck out because it takes a not so serious approach to the topic of the horrible economy, which is something that I was interested in at the time. Even though there are no specifics about what is being talked about, the placement of the article lets you know the reporter is talking about the economy.

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