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Layer information for your readers


The L.A. Times often uses multi-deck headlines

The L.A. Times often uses multi-deck headlines

Newspapers often will use multi-deck headlines to tell stories. Each deck adds layers of information to the story. As design guru Mario Garcia points out they can be helpful for news readers who are scanning for information. Read Garcia’s take on multideck headlines.  Your assignment: Find a headline that you think worked well because the deck added information for the reader. Give me the headline, deck, and tell me where and when it was published. Tell me in the comments section below why you liked it. This is due at the beginning of class Thursday, April 9. 

Categories: headlines, Uncategorized
  1. Brittany Sturek
    April 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    The headline and deck I chose appeared in Tuesday’s Omaha World-Herald. The headline was “Trial raises troubling adoption questions” with a deck that read “Joleet Poole is charged in the death of a baby the Health and Human Services Department placed with him.” The headline is kind of vague but the deck provides an important detail: the fact that the Health and Human Services Department might be to blame for this baby’s death is what makes the story interesting. This deck also lets the readers know what to expect in the story without giving away all the details. I think it works well with the story and sets the tone for readers.

  2. Katrina Fischman
    April 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    The headline and deck I feel worked best was from Wednesday’s Omaha World-Herald. The headline read “Slain man and jailed son shared a violent streak.” The deck said “Plenty of fear and bruises among those connected to Elkhorn-area murder case.” The deck and headline accurately portray the angle of the article without giving away the details. From the headline, the reader knows that the father and son involved were abusive, but the reader does not know of the intricate web entangling all people involved in the murder, which is what the deck adds. I think if the headline stood alone, it would not attract as much attention. The headline and deck does not focus on the fact that a son murdered his father in Elkhorn; it assumes readers have been following the story for a couple of days and want the newest information, which this article provides, rather than the murder event summary again.

    Also, I want to commend the reporter who wrote this story and the editor who wrote the headline and deck. I worked with two of the men involved in this case for a couple of years and knew a lot about the troubled history of all involved. I think the reporter, who did not know anything about the lives of those involved, effectively gathered the details of their past and included relevant details while not including sensational information that did not pertain to the crime. Some of the facts about those involved would have definitely attracted readers, but I am glad the information was not included just to lure readers.

  3. Morgan Demmel
    April 8, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I found an effective headline and deck in Wednesday’s Lincoln Journal Star. The headline read “Obama in Iraq” with a deck that said “President praises U.S. troops in surprise visit, tells them Iraqis must now take over.” I think this headline and deck clearly convey the news of the story. The main point of the story is told in the headline, so readers scanning for information will immediately know what the story is about. For readers who want to know the details of Obama’s visit, the deck clearly explains his reason for visiting Iraq and what he accomplished while he was there. I think this headline and deck also work well with the photo, which shows Obama surrounded by military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad.

  4. Amanda Bergstrom
    April 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I found the headline I liked on the New York Times Web site. It was published on April, 8th. The headline is:
    Calorie-Burning Fat? Studies Say You Have It

    The deck is:
    Originally believed to be lost after infancy, calorie-burning brown fat has been discovered in adults.

    I liked this headline and deck because it really explains what the article is talking about. When you first read the headline it doesn’t make sense when it says ‘studies say you have it’. The deck explains why you may have it. Without the deck it could sound like the calorie-burning fat is something that scientists believed people never had instead of lost.

    The deck also gives a little more detail about the particular calorie-burning fat that adults are discovered to have. In the headline it simply calls it calorie-burning fat, but the deck refers to it as calorie-burning brown fat.

  5. Marcy Pursell
    April 8, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    My headline and deck are from the Daily Nebraskan. It was published on April 8, 2009. The headline reads:
    When class takes the field
    The deck reads:
    College athletes can convert practice time into credit hours

    I really liked this combination because the headline catches my attention and makes me want to read more. The deck gives me a good idea of what the overall story is going to be about. I read the article, and the headline and deck were accurate. They didn’t promise more than the story told and the deck was kept short and simple, yet effective. The headline was also designed vertically with an illustration to support it. If you don’t read closely, the first thing you might see is the deck, which is what I originally read first. The good thing is that I still understood what was going on without having to read the headline. The deck makes everything clear in two lines.

  6. John Ray
    April 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    A really good headline and deck I found was on the front page of the Omaha World-Herald on Wednesday, April 8. The headline reads, “Culver won’t fight ruling on gay ‘civil marriage,'” and the deck reads, “Iowa’s governor says he still is personally opposed to same-sex religious marriages.”

    I thought the deck worked well with the headline. If you’re like me, and not from Iowa, you have no idea who Culver is. You may not know he’s a governor, and you may not know he is from Iowa. He could be a random guy Omaha for all we know, but the deck fills us in so there is no confusion.

    The headline and deck also work together to both give the news and draw interest. If the governor is still against same-sex marriage, then why isn’t he fighting the lift of the ban? It sounds interesting and odd, so it works to the paper’s advantage.

  7. Mac Barber
    April 8, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I chose the story with the headline “Iraq’s Newly Open Gays Face Scorn and Murder” with the deck of “Hate Is Preached and Even the Family is Not a Refuge.” This story ran on the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times. I like this deck because it adds to the information of the headline. The headline tells the basic situation and the deck goes deeper and shows just how bad the situation really is. The deck helps lure readers in by presenting the idea of family – usually thought of as a safe haven – as just another source of fear for gay people in Iraq. This deck is very effective because it adds emotion to the basic information of the headline.

  8. Brittany Claxton
    April 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Headline: Poland Searches Its Own Soul
    Deck: An Israeli man at a former concentration camp in Poland, where culture has helped shift the nation’s attitudes towards Jews.
    Published Wednesday, April 8th by The New York Times, online

    Not only was this headline intriguing but the deck provided enough information (along with a photo) to present the main idea of the story. At a glance this headline caught my attention and the information in the deck further sparked my interest and caused me to read the article in its entirety. Even without reading the entire story, the reader is able to understand the essence of the story and its relevance.

  9. Jaclyn Tan
    April 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Headline: Rolling with the punches

    Deck: Boxing helps teenager put life on the streets of Los Angeles behind her

    Published Tuesday, April 7, 2009 in the Omaha World-Herald’s Living section

    The picture of two girls fighting in a boxing ring and another one of a girl leaning against the ropes helped me understand the headline, but the deck compelled me to read it. “Rolling with the punches” doesn’t say much about the girl, even though the pictures did. The deck told me that the story is about a particular teenage female boxer. It also gives me an idea of her background and where she came from. It made me want to find out why she wanted to put her life behind her and how boxing has helped her do that.

  10. Mekita Rivas
    April 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Headline: The Careful Exaggerator
    Deck: How Obama balances his rhetoric to fit the situation
    Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 on the Slate Web site

    This headline is unexpectedly critical of Obama. The media have often praised the president for his convincingly, eloquent oratory skills. Rather, this headline and deck suggest that Obama, while a talented speaker, is too tactless with his speeches. He is made out to be almost manipulative by this headline and deck, a daring assertion during a time of needed political unity. The headline served as a precise label for the president, while the deck worked to enhance the meaning of the label “The Careful Exaggerator.” This classification may not be the most flattering, but it isn’t derogatory. The editor whom wrote this understood that the article is criticizing Obama’s rhetorical tactics, but knew that titling the president harshly would turn away readers who are Obama supporters.

  11. Katy Healey
    April 9, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Headline: A Piano Man at 13
    Deck: Eighth-grade band performs teen’s composition
    Where: The Independent (in Massillon, Ohio)
    When: April 8, 2009

    I liked the headline because it played off Billy Joel’s song “Piano Man” and emphasized the unusual. It was creative but also told readers what the story was about, making them want to read the article itself. It’s a great human interest piece, and the editor does well to emphasize it with a clever, descriptive headline.

  12. Krista Vogel
    April 9, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Headline: Fire joins forces with wind to destroy home
    Deck: Neighbors warned owner house was on fire; he escaped with a bass guitar before house went down.
    Source: Lincoln Journal Star, April 7, 2009

    I thought this deck worked very well with the headline because it personalized the story. From the headline, it is clear that the article is about a house fire, but the deck gave light to the fact that there was more of a story there than just the fire.

    I was first interested in the story because I had driven by it that day as fire trucks blocked the roads, but after reading the deck, I wanted to do more than skim the first couple of paragraphs and glance at the photos. The article tells not only of the source of the fire and the ultimate damage, but it also acts as a profile of the man who lived in the house. The mention of the bass guitar in the deck tells the reader that there is more to this man and this story.

  13. Stephen Youngerman
    April 9, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Headline: Silverton Mayor may get own reality show
    Deck: Crew has been filming transgender mayor as a teaser for interested networks
    Source: Statesmensjournal.com April 8, 2009

    This headline is incredibly boring, and had my computer not frozen on this particular page, I would have completely missed the kicker in the deck. A mayor getting his own reality show is slightly newsworthy, but a transgender mayor getting his/her own show is absolutely unheard. The story is encapsulated perfectly within the headline and deck, mostly because the story itself is pretty short. The reason the headline and deck are effective is because of the simple, straightfoward way in which it was written. It’s almost like you’re not supposed to see “transgender” upon first glance, then to be completely surprised on the double-take. Also, by keeping the shocking information on the deck instead of the headline, readers are more surprised and thus compelled to actually read the story.

  14. Andrea Vasquez
    April 9, 2009 at 5:27 am

    I was scanning Sunday’s Omaha World-Herald for a good headline-deck combo. There were some good ones, and some interesting stories, but I wanted something noteworthy. In the “Marketplace homes” section, the main picture is a solid black background with a shiny silvery shower head facing down and spraying out three white streams of water. The headline to the right is “Spray away your cares,” and the deck is “Eco-friendly fixtures look good while keeping water use under control.”
    The topic is not a particularly interesting one to me, but I think they put everything together to do their jobs just the way they’re supposed to. The headline is appealing (I would love to do something as simple as “spray away” my cares) and wouldn’t make as much sense without the accompanying photo. Once readers figure out that it’s talking about shower heads, the deck explains the meat of it and the reason it’s getting any space in the paper.
    I think this combo spruces up something that could otherwise easily be dull or passed up.

  15. John Schreier
    April 9, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Omaha World-Herald (April 8)
    Headline, “Slain man and jailed son shared a violent streak”
    Deck, “Plenty of fear and bruises among those connected to Elkhorn-area murder case.”

    Although the headline is rather dull, the line “plenty of fear and bruises” that got me interested. Odds are I wouldn’t have touched the story if not for the deck, and I’m glad I did. It’s a bizarre case where the son, who was abused by his father, was going to move away with his girlfriend and start a family only to find out she was involved with his father. The father was actually scheduled for a court hearing for beating his wife over the involvement with the girlfriend. The son and a friend were charged with killing the father and the girlfriend, who claimed not to know what was going on, was charged with being an accessory for driving the car with his body in the back.

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