Good vs. Bad Headlines

Good One: How Bogus Letter Became a Case for War

This particular headline came from the Washington Post. I think its appropriate and useful for screening the content of the article that accompanies it. The wording is quite mysterious in nature and vague yet clear enough to give you an idea of what they may be talking about. THe use of the word "Bogus" invokes a sense of blundering on the part of the parties involved, that makes me wonder "Who's the dummy?" I think that is exactly what the headline writers want you to think, which would suppose that it is a little biased. The headline is almost formed in a question but moves towards a declarative statement that says, "Here, let me show you what the Iraq war was based on..." The headline is the perfect prelude to a controversial and highly political topic that could serve to anger and fulfill the public's idea of the Iraq war. YOu know immediately when you read this headline that you are in for a story.

Bad One:
Kid-challenged alleged carjacker caught

I had to read this headline several times before understanding what "kid-challenged" meant in describing the carjacker. There are too many adjectives to try to describe the criminal and it never makes light of the fact that a 6-year old Miami girl inside the carjacked vehicle stopped this guy by swinging her bookbag to hit him. Kid-challenged could mean the carjacker doesn't like kids, or was challenged mentally as a child, or I don't even know. The whole structure of this headline tells me nothing about the story, which is actually pretty incredible. This was a UPI story that appeared in the Jackson News Online. The little girl and her family were invited by Ellen DeGeneres to the show and presented with a new car after the carjacker totaled theirs. A great story was overshadowed by a terrible headline.

1 comment:

Americua said...

Oh yeah, this was Arelis' post, hehe!