Tips for good headline writing / 16 октября 2007 г.
- POINT UP THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE STORY. That doesnt mean stealing the reporters lead. You can use material from the lead, but change the words.
- BE ACCURATE in fact, tone, scope and focus. There is no place for headlines that arent absolutely accurate. Near is not good enough.
- REFLECT BALANCE AND GOOD TASTE. This is as important in a headline as in a story. Dont write a cute head on a serious story.
- BE CLEAR, SUCCINCT AND GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT. Be sure the headline is easy to read and understand. Use everyday language where possible.
- CATCH THE READERS ATTENTION and entice them into the story. Have fun, where appropriate. Reading is work. You can make it enjoyable.
- AVOID CLICHES. Security tight, wont rule out and mixed reactions are just a few examples.
- ATTRIBUTE ALL HEADS THAT NEED ATTRIBUTION. Make sure the newsmaker and not the newspaper is making claims.
- MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT. Avoid headlines that waste words. Jailed is more direct than sent to jail.
- AVOID TRIVIAL DETAILS that cause distortion by emphasis. Dont write the headline based on the last half of the story. And if youre writing a headline on a feature that has a zinger in the last paragraph, dont even think about stealing it for the headline.
- FIND WAYS TO AVOID MAY HEADS. Theyre vague and heads ought
to be precise. Be specific; avoid generalizations.
- LOCATE STORIES. Use city or country names when theyre needed.