Good: In Baghdad, a Sudden Chance to Play
Not only is this headline clear and concise, but it also generates curiosity. The headline suggests that people in Baghdad actually found time to relax and have fun. How could this happen in a place where people are afraid to leave their homes? Readers want to know the answer, so they read the article. The story explains how the end of Ramadan brought several quiet days to the violent city. The headline indicates that the story will be about Baghdad’s recent decline in violence, and the article delivers.
Not-so-good: Transgender MP in toilet fracas
This headline makes you say “Huh?” While the headline is concise, it’s not clear enough to accurately describe the story. What is a toilet fight? The story describes the controversy in Italy over which restroom a transgender named Vladimir Luxuria should use. This headline also tries to lure the reader through curiosity, but it’s not as clearly written as the Baghdad headline.