Online News Headlines

Looking on AOL News, I found this headline, "Drunk Driver Sues Police for Car Crash." The story is about an Arizona woman who crashed her car into a wall and though the police took her keys, she used a hidden key to drive off. She is suing police for not taking her hidden key from her. I think the word "for" makes the headline confusing. The "for" implies that she wants a car crash from the police. The headline would have been clearer if it said, "Drunk Driver Sues Police Over Car Crash."

Another unclear headline I found was on today's Washington Post home page. It was found under the More Local Headlines heading and read, "Protest Styles Present a Clash of Cultures" Upon reading this headline, I really wasn't sure what the article would be about. My first instinct was that the story was a Style section-esque feature on the different ways people protest. I clicked on it and learned the story was actually about the immigration debate in Virginia's Prince William County. This really surprised me because I've actually been following this issue for another class, and I would never have known this is what the article was about just from reading the headline. In order to tip off readers and be easier to find in a search engine, the headline should have included key words like "immigration" or "Pr. William County"

One of the better headlines I found was in AOL's Entertainment News section on this weekend's box office hits. The headline, "'American Gangster' Swats 'Bee Movie,'" creatively conveys which of this weekend's highly anticipated movie releases came out on top. The colorful writing continued into the lead, which read, "LOS ANGELES (Nov. 4) - A heroin pusher and a honey bee put some sting back into the movie business." I will concede that the headline may not have worked if a reader didn't know what the two movies were, but in that case they probably wouldn't have been interested in the article anyways.

I also really liked this headline for the lead story on the Washington Post's homepage. It's a video link titled, "VIDEO: In W. Va., Celebrating the Fall of Man" The package is on BASE jumping and accompanies a double page spread on the topic in today's print edition. I like the play on words with the literal falling of people that BASE jumping entails. However, because the headline is accompanied with a photo and a three-line summary, it still works.

~Priya Kumar

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