A blog for students in Chris Harvey's multimedia journalism classes at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism
"The Hip and Hungry Hit 14th Street" was the headline from a Washington Post article by Jane Black that I really liked. I got to the Washington Post homepage, and it immediately caught my eye. It got my attention because it is short, concise, and applies to me. When I saw this headline, it was mid afternoon on a Wednesday. I was hungry, tired, and really ready for the weekend. The words "hip" and "hungry" seemed to call to me. I clicked on the link to the article and saw it was a review of several new restaurants on 14th street. It is a light article with a more serious undertone, as it addresses how the area developed and what attracts the public. The headline conveyed the light tone, but did not sugar coat the more serious part of the piece, 14th street. Check out the article!
Today (April 22) there is a headline on the Los Angeles Times homepage that reads, "Obama to Push Energy on Earth Day." This link leads to a more specific headline, "Obama Heads to Iowa for Earth Day." I felt that the first headline, from the homepage was a little misleading. Although it is possible to deduce the meaning of the headline from the readout: "The president travels to Iowa to pitch environmentally friendly jobs and his energy plan," the headline itself is not very clear. If I were to read it completely separate from any other text or images, I would know that the article is about Earth Day, and Obama's energy plan. However, the wording, "Obama to Push Energy," could imply the president is facing a particularly difficult challenge, and will have to work harder on Earth Day to get something done. The problem I see with this headline, is that out of context its meaning could be misinterpreted. Maybe changing it to "Obama to Push Energy Plan on Earth Day," would make it clearer and offer more a more complete search terms, such as energy plan.
Chris Harvey is a multimedia teacher at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the director of (curriculum) assessments. She also directs the graduate multimedia certificate program. She's worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor and wire service editor, before finding her current niche after working as a Web editor at washingtonpost.com.