11.11.2009

Good and Not-so-Good Headlines

Before our next class Nov. 18, please find a good and not-so-adept headline on one or more news Web sites, and explain why you think so on this blog.

Please attach them as comments to this post.

Please be sure to give the full URL and headline for each.

And please don't write anything you don't want the world to see.

13 comments:

Lauren said...

I found the headline "What's the happiest state?" found at http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20091115/COLUMN0701/911150327/1113/OPINION to be a good headline because it enticed me with a question that made me want to click on the link to read the article and find out the answer.

I found the headline “U.N.: One billion worldwide face starvation” found at http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/11/15/un.hunger/index.html to be a “not so good” headline, because it tells me the main point of the article and the source. Why would I click on the story if the headline tells me the most important thing I need to know from the story?

Sophie Terbush said...

I found this headline: "Atomic Priesthoods, Thorn Landscapes, and Munchian Pictograms" at slate.com. This is my "not so good" headline because when I read it I had no idea what it was supposed to be about. It turned out to be an article about how the Department of Energy is going to label nuclear waste for future generations of humans to be able to identify it. It's an interesting article, but there are no good search terms in the headline, and no indication of what the article is about that would be accessible to lay audiences (http://www.slate.com/id/2235504/).

I found "Nuclear Report on Iran Arouses New Suspicions" at nytimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/world/middleeast/17nuke.html?_r=1&hp). I like it because it has good search terms like "nuclear" and "Iran," and it tells you that the article is important without giving you all the details on what the new suspicions are, so you still want to click through to it.

ERIC DETWEILER said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ERIC DETWEILER said...

Today (Monday) one of the biggest stories on the news websites was about the new findings regarding mammograms. Some of the headlines I saw about this on major sites were wordy or overly detailed. But I liked the headline on msnbc.com, "New advice: Wait until 50 for mammograms" (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33973665/ns/health-womens_health/). It's simple, to the point and very informative while still including the necessary search terms (50 and mammogram) to be effective. For the top story on the website at the time I checked, I think it was a well-written headline.

The one I did not care for I found on cnn.com. The headline, "No climate-change deal likely by year's end, officials say," because it didn't tell me a whole lot about who was making this deal (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/11/15/apec.climate.change/index.html). Apparently, it was world leaders, including President Obama, at a summit in Singapore. One or more of those facts would've made this headline more descriptive and interesting. I also think the included search terms could've been stronger. "Global warming" is a word that would be more searchable rather than "climate change."

Daniela Feldman said...

I found the New York Times headline “N.A.A.C.P Prods Obama on Job Losses” favorable because it is a clear headline that does not give away too much of the story. Even though this appeared on the Web site, this headline reads much like a classic newspaper headline would and has pretty good search terms. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/us/17labor.html?hpw)

A New York Times headline I was not so fond of was “Audit Faults New York Fed in A.I.G. Bailout.” This headline was a bit confusing for me and after reading it twice, I decided that the story was not worth clicking on since I could somewhat predict what I was going to read. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/business/17aig.html?ref=global-home)

eopencho said...

I liked the headline, "New Moon's L.A. Premiere: A Familiar Scene of Lunacy" from TIME.com (http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1939936,00.html). I thought it had a nice play on words, but still included a good number of search terms. A reader looking to read a story about the premiere would easily find this story.

I also liked the headline "Underground Psychology," from slate.com, but I thought it wasn't a very informative headline. I thought it was clever once I read some of the story, but to have to read a couple graphs to figure out what I'm reading about isn't good for an online news story. While clever headlines can be good in certain cases, I think it would have been better to have more of a balance in this case.

Katie said...

"Rothschild Heir to Sail Boat of Trash" is a good headline because it intrigued me. I pictured a guy literally sailing a boat full of trash as a punishment of some sort. When you click on the link you'll see a video revealing that the boat is made out of plastic bottles. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2009/11/17/plastiki.adventure.technology.cnn
You could search for "boat and trash" and his name and you would easily find it.

The headline "Iraq Prisoner Deaths Motive Shown" was very confusing to me. It's hard to say and comprehend right off the bat. You need to read the article to understand what the story's really about. http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/17/army.tapes.canal.killings/index.html

Melissa said...

A very good Washington Post headline I found was "Deep divisions linger on healthcare." I like this because it tells you what the article is about without giving away too much information, like where the divisions are. It also entices the reader to click on the article. While it may not be the most searchable headline, it does have the terms "healthcare" and "divisions" that some searchers might use.
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/17/AR2009111700021.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR)

One not-so-good headline that I found was "Unfriend is US dictionary's 2009 word of the year." The entire article is summed up by that statement, giving a reader no reason to read the article. Even just taking the word "unfriend" out of the headline would make it significantly better and grab readers' interest a bit more.
(http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20091117/ap_on_hi_te/us_odd_word_of_the_year)

Melissa said...

A very good Washington Post headline I found was "Deep divisions linger on healthcare." I like this because it tells you what the article is about without giving away too much information, like where the divisions are. It also entices the reader to click on the article. While it may not be the most searchable headline, it does have the terms "healthcare" and "divisions" that some searchers might use.
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/17/AR2009111700021.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR)

One not-so-good headline that I found was "Unfriend is US dictionary's 2009 word of the year." The entire article is summed up by that statement, giving a reader no reason to read the article. Even just taking the word "unfriend" out of the headline would make it significantly better and grab readers' interest a bit more.
(http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20091117/ap_on_hi_te/us_odd_word_of_the_year)

Anna Eisenberg said...

Because I am an employee of the Diamondback, I decided to look at Diamondback Online headlines.

GOOD: "Regents to ask university to raise math standards"
http://www.diamondbackonline.com/news/regents-to-ask-university-to-raise-math-standards-1.932940

This headline tells me the basics of what I need to know about this story, and follows a subject-verb-object format. However, I still have questions after reading the headline that I want answered by reading the story. What are the standards now? How will they be changed?

BAD: "Singing from the Heart"
http://www.diamondbackonline.com/diversions/singing-from-the-heart-1.930819

This is an example of a feature headline that works fine in print but does not work well online. I have no idea what genre of music or which artist the story is about, nor do I have the interest to click to learn further. Also, the headline includes a typical cliche that is a turn-off to me as a reader.

Sarah said...

Good Headline: "Store owner kills would-be robber" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/17/AR2009111704618.html?hpid=newswell

This is a good headline because it follows the subject, verb, object pattern. Also it tells the story very accurately and it makes me want to read the story because it is unusual that a store owner is doing the shooting and not the robber.

Bad Headline: "R u a 'sucker' 4 Edward or do u howl 4 Jacob?"
ttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33971476/ns/entertainment-movies/

This headline is not good because it does not tell me what the story is about. Also, while a younger generation may understand "aim" or "online" language, the headline does cut out a lot of its older audience who might not understand the new language.

Jeff Nash said...

GOOD:

Ravens, Browns scoreless at the half

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Aq8UT_6rl04dduk_xxzWUEc5nYcB?slug=ap-ravens-brownsrunning&prov=ap&type=lgns

Yahoo Sports does a pretty god job with headlines of wire stories- I initially tried finding a bad headline from them but I couldn't find one. This headline has all the key terms someone wanting to know what had happened in this Monday Night Football game would search: Ravens (name of team), Browns (name of team), scoreless (the score of game, or term "score" could be searched) and half (a relevant time period to search for).


BAD:

Govt to unveil 20,000 MW solar power plan

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091113/india_nm/india439204;_ylt=AkmWFB_OiItuMXQEf5cU484PLBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTJobzRxMnVyBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMDkxMTEzL2luZGlhNDM5MjA0BHBvcwMxNgRzZWMDeW5fYXJ0aWNsZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA2dvdnR0b3VudmVpbA--


The article is a Reuters story Yahoo News picked up about India's plan to improve their solar power generation. However, the headline doesn't include anything about India. Additionally, the word "new" probably would have been better for searches than "20,000 MW."

Greg Schimmel said...

A good headline I found was "First lady promoted exercise and nutrition during visit with Va. school children." I thought this was a good headline because it tells you exactly what the story is about and includes a few key terms that would be easily searchable on a search engine. It follows the subject, verb, object format. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/18/AR2009111801262.html?hpid=artslot

A bad headline I found was "Rodriguez: Process is corrected." This is an extremely vague headline that doesn't tell the reader what the story is going to be about. There are a lot of people named Rodriguez who the story could be about and there are a lot of processes that could be corrected. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4668254