Good and Bad Headlines--Zak Garner 3/28/2007

I found both of these headlines on the New York Times Web site.

Good: "From Ashes of Yukos, New Russian Oil Giant Emerges"
I like this headline, published on 3/27, because it uses both a somewhat poetic phrase, "ashes of Yukos," and the very appropriate noun "giant" (rather than "company"). Also, the headline sounds story-like - like it could be a chapter in a book - and this is reflected in the article. While it is a newsworthy piece, the story colors in the background in feature article fashion. Overall, it is a direct, clever and appropriate headline that doesn't use too many words.

Bad: "Gay Media Outlets Seek Place at the Table at Awards for the Representation of Gays"
I don't like this headline, published on 3/26, because it is wordy and confusing. It is the type of headline you need to read twice before deciding if you want to read the article, which can cause some readers to flip immediately to another page. While the headline uses the common seat-at-table metaphor, the phrase "Place at the Table at Awards" is way too clunky to make this metaphor flow appropriately. An alternative headline could be: "Gay Media Outlets Seek Place at GLAAD Awards Tables."

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