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Writing headlines, PM class

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  1. Paige Yowell
    March 10, 2010 at 11:26 am

    The headline I chose reads “Leaving the Trash Behind.” It’s from an article in the New York Times’ business section that discusses how much trash airline companies generate and how few airports are making an effort recycle that trash. I like this headline because it grabbed my attention and made me wonder what the story was about. The story shed light on an issue I have never even thought about. The headline also somewhat describes what the story is about but it’s still vague enough to make me want to read more. It also wasn’t completely obvious and boring.

  2. Darcie Samuelson
    March 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I picked a headline from today’s front page of The Boston Globe. The headline was “A rite that’s passing.” The tagline was “With few Catholics going to confession anymore, the archdiocese launches a campaign to lure them back.” This story was about how Roman Catholics in today’s world go to confession less and how the church is trying to bring them back. I thought the headline worked well with the story topic. It gave enough information so I knew what the story involved but it was vague enough to make me want to read on. The headline was also a play on words because it sounds similar to the common phrase, rite of passage. I think this would have been a huge eye catcher in Boston, which has a large Catholic population.

  3. patrick breen
    March 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at the Daily Nebraskan photo desk editing photos laughing with other editors about a story on a Nebraska guy who started a porn business about “Nebraska Coeds.” For the headline, the editors decided between something along the lines of uncensored in large font or more traditional headlines like “Nebraska man creates porn website based on UNL girls.”

    The art ended up playing well with a censored bar over what would be the upper torso of the art women. The headline being “NUdity.” It plays off NU meaning Nebraska and then also fits the story well.

    Its interesting to see the process that people use when picking a headline, especially for a racy story like this. You want something that grabs the readers attention but still provides enough context. A deck is in the works as I type this, and it will add more context, but I actually think the headline works well.

    I know that we agreed not to use DN as an example so I also found another headline I liked a headline in the sports section of the nytimes.com. “Dealing with more than balls and strikes,” is about Travis Blackley, a Mets pitcher making a comeback.

    The story talks about overcoming more than batters and the headline fits the story quite well. Its intriguing but still gives you a general idea of what the story will be about.

  4. Chiron Hunt
    March 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    The headline I chose reads, “Lindsay Lohan sues E-trade”. This story was aired yesterday on yahoo news as I was checking my emails. It immediately grabbed my attention because Lindsay Lohan is always showing up in the news for something dumb she was caught doing. For example, when she was caught with drugs and drunk driving. After her friend told her not to drive after drinking, the celebrity quoted that night back in 05′, “I’m famous, I can do what I want”.

    These are examples of how she ruined her own image. However, in the story I read she is sueing E-trade because she thinks they are making fun of her life and trying to make her look bad. The best part about the story is she is sueing for $100 million in exemplary damages and compensatory damages. I don’t know what neither of those words mean. The headline caught my attention because anything about Lindsay Lohan is funny and I always get a good laugh out of celebrities who think they are untouchable.

  5. Magie Wieneke
    March 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    The headline that I chose to write about was “’Alice’ becomes a box office wonderland” and I found it on the main page of CNN Entertainment but it is originally an Entertainment Weekend article. The article talked about how ‘Alice in Wonderland’ finally knocked ‘Avatar’ from its spot as largest opening spring release ever. It also spoke on how 188 IMAX theatres around the nation sold out every seat this weekend they had available for ‘Alice’. The other focus of the article was how 3D has emerged as a serious way to watch movies and is not going anywhere soon. The amount of money the latest 3D movies have made for production companies ensures that they are here to stay.

    Why this headline caught my attention was because of two reasons; I recently saw this movie this weekend and loved it and also because it is an intriguing title. I like the play off the title and how it is worked into the headline; it’s catchy but not over the top. I enjoyed that they used numbers and gave really concrete examples of how well the movie did and what it accomplished. It was informative as well as interesting and fun which I feel is the makings of a good article.

  6. Brett Bedel
    March 11, 2010 at 10:33 am

    “Lights, Sirens and a Dash Wired With Distractions”
    -New York Times March 11, 2010

    I have looked a few times at news websites, but it wasn’t until today that I found a headline on the front page that caught my eye. Instantly I knew this story had to be about cars or driving. After reading the first line of the story I realized it was about texting and driving. This seems to be a very recent and popular topic throughout the country and I know Nebraska is debating whether to make it illegal to text and drive. I am an avid texter-while-driving so this story really caught my eye. I was interested what this paper had to report on today about the story.

  7. Nick French
    March 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Although Patrick already commented on it, I had to choose the front page headline of the arts & entertainment section in the Daily Nebraskan which read: “NUDITY.” When considering both the art and the headline, this layout was very clever.

    Due in large part to the content of the story, and also the proximity of James Vaderslice’s business to UNL students, perhaps this story would have high readership no matter the headline. Regardless, the “NU” in “Nudity” highlighted pink, and the Robert Risko-esque graphic of a woman’s torso with her breasts covered by a censor bar worked really well for this page. The sub-head does a good job to further explain what the obscure heading may not.

    Ultimately, this does what an accomplished headline should do: it forces the viewer to engage in the article.

  8. Shea Carlson
    March 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    The headline I chose was “Raising Arizona.” It was published on espn.com yesterday, and is about Arizona’s football program rising up. I liked it because I am a big fan of the Coen brothers, who wrote the movie “Raising Arizona,” and I think it worked because it was about the struggles and triumphs of a young Arizona football team.

  9. Alexis See Tho
    March 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I was looking through Chicago Tribune and was interested to know some local news in “Chicagoland” as termed by the newspaper. This following headline caught my attention:

    “Graffiti artist, chased by police, jumps in river, dies.”

    The headline seemed funny to me at first. I could picture a cartoon version of a graffiti artist jumping into a river.

    I find that the headline succinctly summarized what I needed to know about the story. It also created interest in me as to why the graffiti artist would run away from a cop and jump into a river.

    If read between the lines, the story seems to fight the stereotypes of many that a graffiti artist is a bad person e.g. drug addict. In the second paragraph into the story, the reporter puts in a quote from the graffiti artist’s friend that says, “Just because he was a graffiti artist doesn’t mean he was a bad person.”

    The use of two concrete nouns and three verbs in one sentence made the headline very specific and informative. The headline writing basically sold the story, although it was just a story about a probably lesser known individual in the community.

  10. Lauren Vuchetich
    March 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Got Breast Milk? Make Cheese
    This was published March 10 as a headline on Reuters.com for a video story they posted. I feel this works well because even though it’s a question, it’s a play on words. And even though it’s cheesy (pardon the pun) it doesn’t go over the line because the subject is so striking. I feel that the headline reflects the obscurity of the story’s content while still accurately describing the story.

  11. Courtney Smith
    March 11, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    The headline that I chose to write about was “Dealing with more than balls and strikes.” This headline was given to an article published in the sports section of The New York Times website on March 10, 2010. The article talks about Travis Blackley, a Mets pitcher who is attempting to make a comeback in major league baseball while suffering from attention deficit disorder. While athletes with severe cases of A.D.D. are allowed to take Adderall to help with the effects, it is sometimes seen as an advantage and Blackely chooses to compete without taking the prescription.

    I liked this headline a lot. Not only does it tell me that it’s about baseball, but it also tells me that it’s about more than just the sport. I can tell from the headline that the story is about a player who has a lot more on his mind than just baseball. I thought that it was a good attention-grabbing headline that also fit the story really well.

  12. Kyle Dump
    March 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    The headline I chose was from today’s journalstar.com. It read, “It’s a girl, sort of.” The story was about a mannequin training device that simulates the birthing process; an interesting story, but made more interesting by the mysterious and yet (after reading the story) very informative and clever headline.
    Also, “It’s a girl, sort of” is even more alluring in today’s day and age. Crazier things have happened, and a half girl half… something would be interesting as heck to find out about. We are a sick, voyeuristic culture, and bizarre stories like this one help to feed our addiction.
    Overall, sweet headline, sweet story, good work Journal Star.

  13. Dylan Guenther
    March 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    The headline I chose is “Lights, Sirens and a Dash Wired With Distractions”. It was about a story today in the New York Times. The story was about how many distractions that emergency workers like police and ambulance drivers face. They have dashboard computers, sophisticated radios, navigation systems, cellphones and sirens. They also need to operate these devices while driving at high speeds. This is at the same time there are more and more bans on cellphone use while driving.

    This headline drew my attention because I wasn’t quite sure what it was about. I had a good idea, but I was interested to get to the meat of the story.

  14. Rikki Giambruno
    March 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    The headline I chose is from, gasp, The Pioneer Press in St. Paul. I might need to reconsider who won the Star Tribune vs. Pioneer Press showdown I held for my midterm project. Then again, that might be a knee-jerk reaction.

    Anyway, the headline that I chose is from today’s (March 11) issue. It reads, “What’s Michelle Obama got against Mrs. Smith?” Mrs. Smith is a frozen dessert company owned by a Minnesota company. Obama and the FDA are supposedly cracking down on misleading health claims. Now that is not a story I would generally read or care about but I got a kick out of the headline and read it anyway. If the headline read something like, “FDA cracks down on misleading health claims” I wouldn’t have read it. The headline led to internal questions like, “what would Michelle Obama have against a frozen food company?” and, “why would the first lady care?”

    Overall, I thought it was an effective headline for what would normally, to me, be a boring story.

  15. Reed Samson
    March 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    The headline I selected read “Nigerians Recount Night of Their Bloody Revenge”. It was a story from the New York Times from yesterday. The story was reporting on a “baby faced” Nigerian man who recounted the murders he committed on March 7. The headline was gripping and had words that are strong in nature. It let me know what the story was about but left me very interested to hear the rest of the story. I really liked this headline because it was right to the point and very gripping.

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