Good/Bad Headlines

Kathy Park


Senate Signals Support For U.S. Timeline in Iraq

This is a headline found on March 28, in the online version of The Washington Post. I would consider this a good headline because it captures the main point of the article in just a few words, but it doesn’t necessarily give the lead away. It is written in the present tense and in active voice. This is an appropriate headline for such a serious issue.


Bolen bound over for arraignment in Abilene Machine arson, burglary

This is a headline found on March 28, in the online edition of The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle. The paper is published in Abilene, Kansas. I would label this a not-so-adept headline because it is very confusing. It’s a bit wordy, and there is too much information that’s crammed into one headline. The headline should encourage people to continue reading the article, but there is nothing appealing about this headline.

1 comment:

Lisa S. said...

Lisa Seaman
March 28, 2007

"Candy-coated meth being used to lure kids"

I find this headline from the CNN Web site both informative and intriguing, which is arguably the best type of headline. This headline is not only succinct and gives the reader the important information right away, but also grabs the reader’s attention so he will probably read more the story too. It is a specific headline that uses a clear imagery (“candy-coated-meth”).

http://www.evesun.com/chenango-county/headline-news/stories.htm “City looks at designs for new water filtration system”

Although this headline seems okay as it is here, I believe The Evening Sun published in Norwich, N.Y., could have jazzed up the language. By using an active verb instead of “looks” would have broken up the monotony of the headline. This headline could be fine if all the other headlines where good; however, the other headlines are equally mundane on the page, including:

“Arcuri introduces amendment to investigate safety risks of NYRI power line”

“Towns want more money for garbage pickup”

“Norwich PD releases annual report”

“Norwich PD asks motorists to take notice of school bus safety”

These headlines do not make the reader want to read the stories. One might argue that it is the nature of the stories that makes the headlines less intriguing, yet I feel that if they paper used creative verbs the headlines would draw people in more.