Good and Bad Headlines

Before our next class April 16, please find a good and not-so-adept headline on one or more news Web sites, and explain why you think so--based on our class discussion and your readings. Please be sure to give the full URL and headline for each.

Please don't write anything you don't want the world to see. (Be tactful.)


Mike Plant said...

One good headline I found from ESPN.com about the WNBA draft: Parker, Fowles, Wiggins top three picks in WNBA draft. This headline is clear and concise and tells the main points of the story without the reader having to read the whole thing.

A bad headline I found from the Frederick News Post Online: This Thurmont family plays together. The story is about a father and son who are in a play together but the headline makes it seem to me like an entire family was doing some physical activity together. Its not a terrible headline but it could definitely be improved.

Mike Plant said...

here are the links to my stories: http://sports.espn.go.com/wnba/news/story?id=3338047

kshih said...

This is a bad headline on CNN.com: "Memorable chokes, collapses in sports history." This might be good for sports fans, who know what choke and collapse mean in terms of sports jargon, but for a casual reader, it could mean something serious, like players being hurt on the court. The wording could be changed.

This is a good headline: "Baby with two faces worshipped as goddess," also on CNN. It's clear but also makes the reader interested in the story.

melissa said...

"Torch Relay Ignites Protests in S.F." - This is a good headline because use of the word 'ignite'. It relates to the burning of the Olympic torch and relates to the start of a fight. The headline was on msnbc's homepage. The link below is the story. "Big Demonstrations Ahead of Torch Relay in S.F." is the title when you click on the link. I like the one on the homepage better.

"Report Blasts Immigration Halloween Party"- This headline, read really fast, could lead some people into thinking that it had to do with a bomb. Reading it over slowly, readers can conclude that the headline clearly means something else. I just didn't like it because it could be misleading.


Marty said...

I know this is being picky but my bad headline comes from the Diamondback.
Triathlon club encounters hurdles

This pun is poorly used because to my knowledge, in a triathlon there are no hurdles. To people who view a triathlon as just another event this seems picky, but to the athletes I imagine it is like saying "Quarterback out at the plate".

Here is an example of a good headline pun. I don't think I need to give much explanation:
Parker and Tennessee Back on Rocky Top

Mariel said...

This link on TheJournalNews.com Latest Headlines List could have been better.

American Airlines scrubs one-third of its flights (http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage)

First, scrubs is a slang word that isn't even used very often to refer to cancellations. It is much more commonly used in reference to cleaning. They easily could have used the word cancel.

Secondly, they chose to give a fraction instead of the actual number in this headline. The actual number of cancellations is 1,000, which is much clearer and a more dramatic figure than one-third. There really is no reason to use the fraction there.

This link goes to the AP story (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AMERICAN_AIRLINES_CANCELLATIONS?SITE=NYWHI&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT), which doesn’t use this headline, but a much better, clear, concise one: “American cancels more than 1,000 flights.”

That headline is similar to another good one on the same story, which is on CNN.com.

American cancels more than 1,000 more flights

This headline is really clear. The story is interesting and newsworthy enough that the headline doesn’t have to be overly creating or interesting and you know they are referencing American Airlines. One thing they might have changed is that they use the word ‘more’ twice in such a short sentence.

But overall, I thought it gave the reader a clear understanding about what to expect in the article and did a much better job than The Journal News.

JZuller said...

One Living Memorial and Too Many Dead

This headline was for a story in the Washington Post’s Metro section, and it discussed the dedication of a tree to victims of homicide. The headline is very clever because it plays on numbers (one, too) and the paradox of a living tree to represent people who are deceased.

Kosher Choices for a Pleasing Passover

This bad headline was for a story about the growing market of Kosher for Passover wines. The headline does not say anything about wine, so one might assume it has to do with more food being available that is kosher-for passover. In addition, the title is misleading because the article discusses Kosher wines in general, which are different from those that are specifically Kosher for Passover. Everything that is Kosher for Passover goes through even more strict scrutiny. The wines are newsworthy for the Jewish population in general, but just because wine is a part of the seder does not necessarily mean that these kosher wines will be used.

James K. Sanborn said...

WASHINGTONPOST.com - BAD "American Passengers Stranded"
- I find this headline deficient because it is confusing and unclear. On a first read, one might think “American” refers to one from the Americas or the U.S. when actually it refers to American Airlines. A better approach was the New York Times which wrote, “American Cancels 1,000 More Flights,” or mysanantonio.com which unsed “AA” instead of American. The draw back to these other approaches however is that they lose the human element the Post’s headline had.

"Gator blood could take bite out of superbugs"

-I liked this headline because it grabbed my attention and did a great job of communicating the crux of the story which was about alligator blood being used in cures for diseases. I admit it borders on trite or cute in the worst way, but overall, I like it.

Ashley Sharif said...

One not so good headline that I came across was on the gazette's website. The headline was "With ICC, we get less 'bang for buck'" (http://gazette.net/stories/040908/montlet52317_32371.shtml) The ICC contains a cliche phrase, which from our class discussions, we were told to avoid. Also, "bang for buck" is in quotes, but it is not a quote from the short story so I am unsure why it is in quotes. The headline is not bad, it's just not as efficient as it could be.

One good headline that I found was on CNN. The headline was "Iraqi soldiers free CBS journalist from captors" (http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/04/14/basra.journalist.freed/index.html). This headline is straight forward and to the point. There are no confusing words or terms in the headline and the headline does not have a double meaning.

Nick D. said...

Good Headline: Former female boxer beats burglar
I think this is a good headline because it grabs your attention and also uses the letters ‘f’ and ‘b’ multiple times to start words, which sounds nice.

Bad headline: Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies
I don't like this headline because of the use of the word 'wave.' While the word is used correctly, the headline could be misread by someone who is just skimming and misses the 'bankruptcies' part.

Laura Griffin said...

Bad headline: WIP bashing of Clinton points up gender gap

This headline is worded awkwardly, so can be confusing at first read.

Good headline: Spelling error proved fatal

This headline is to the point, but also evokes curiosity. However, to make it just a little bit clearer, they could have worded it to indicate that this has to do with court officials and police.

Janelle Lilley said...

One good headline that I saw was on washingtonpost.com this morning. "Caps Get Bullied on Broad St." Although I do not normally read the sports section of the newspaper, this headline made me curious to know how they were bullied...was there a fight?? But it also gave me enough information to know what the story was generally about.

A bad headline that I saw today and last night was also on washingtonpost.com. "Plastics Chemical Raises Alarm" I am not sure if they just left out an apostraphe or if I am misreading the headline, but I am not able to discern what the story is about from the headline. Do they mean "Plastics' Chemical?" Furthermore "Raises Alarm" is too broad. Tell me if there is danger, a link to cancer, an illness, a death...what kind of alarm is being raised. As it is, the headline did not make me interested enough to read the article.
Both headlines can be found at www.washingtonpost.com

ChiLvr0505 said...

In Time of Grief, a Family Struggles With Crime, Police

This appears awkward. I do not like the end “,Police”. The headline does not flow and I had to re-read it, which makes it a poor headlines. I had trouble distinguishing whether the family was struggling with just the crime, the crime and police, or any combination of the two.

Violence mars eve of Nepal's historic election
I really liked the use of the word “mar” and I thought the headline was powerful. It also made me want to read the article because of the use of the word “historic” as well. It also identifies the subject, Nepal’s election, and the event, violence, very well.

michelle z said...

Good headine

“Kitchen Diplomacy: Hot Sauce to Nuclear Talks”


This is a really fun and clever headline for the accompanying article. It makes a reader want to read on.

Not-so-adept headline

“Georgia angered by Russian move”


This headline is really confusing and doesn’t necessarily prompt a reader to want to read more, although it does poes a question. I think a better headline would emphasize what the Russians did instead of focusing on Georgia.