Print Media - Headline writing[1]

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  • thanks madam arzoo. what you shared is priceless.
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  • Headline writing is an integral part in writing a news story. Headlines attracts attention to a news story, it also summarises the story. This article has been of great help teaching me how to write headlines properly. This piece of writing has also given me an idea about headline writing but also how to apply them with new innovations. Initially i was asked to find out more about headline writing, thus prompted me to conduct a google search which led me here and i'm happy i found this fine piece of writing because it is the finest i have seen. This remains Aroloye Oluwaseyi Paul from Caleb University Imota,Lagos.
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  • 1. HEADLINE WRITING
  • 2. HEADS
    • H - Heralds the day’s news; tells what is of importance.
    • E - Entices the reader with essential or interesting facts.
    • A - Advertises the most important story by size or placement on the page (the most important stories are displayed at the top of the page).
    • D - Dresses up a page with typography; helps make design attractive.
    • S - Summarises the story with a "super" lead; tells what the story is about.
  • 3. Style variation in headlines
    • ALL-CAPS HEADS
    • The all-capital letter headline style is almost extinct. All-caps heads, while they are easier to write than others, are the most difficult to read.
    • (WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST USED TO HAVE KEY GRAPHS IN HIS EDITORIALS SET ALL-CAPS. INSTEAD OF MAKING THE POINT EMPHATICALLY, AS HE INTENDED, SUCH SETTING ACTUALLY CUT DOWN THE READERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT).
  • 4. CAPS AND LOWERCASE HEADS
    • In this headline style, all words, other than articles, conjunctions, and prepositions, are set in the first letter in caps and the others in lowercase.
  • 5. DOWN-STYLE HEADS
    • The first letter of the first word - and the first letter of any proper noun - is set as a cap, and all other letters are lowercase. Down-style is presented in the way persons are taught to read and write.
    • Visually attractive
    • Enhances readability
  • 6. KINDS OF HEADLINES
    • Banner head
    • Crossline head
    • Flush left head
    • Side heads/ Flush right head
    • Kicker (eyebrow)
  • 7. Banner head
    • The banner head is set the full-page width at the top of a news page to draw attention to the lead story of that particular page.
    • Skyline: If it runs above the masthead. However, this is almost extinct.
    • Streamer: The widest and biggest multi-column head on a page, regardless of whether it is the full width.
  • 8.
    • Crossline head: It does not always span the full width of the page, but does cover all the columns of the story to which it pertains.
    • FLUSH LEFT HEAD: The flush left head is a two- or three-line head with each line set flush left. The lines do not have to be equal in width or set full. The white space at the right is considered enhancing, because it allows "air" into the otherwise stuffy column spaces.
  • 9.
    • Side Head: The side head is a headline form that runs alongside a story. It is normally three or four lines .
    • Kicker: Also called the eyebrow. The kicker opens the area on a page where the headline is located. It can be used to introduce a feature article with a line above the main head. (Make the kicker 1/2 the point size of the main head. Alternate the font type. Underline the kicker.)
  • 10. Headline Variants
    • Standing Head: A label used for regular or recurring content, such as sports and film review columns. It does not change from issue to issue. Eg: Film Review
    • Jump Head: Helps the reader find a portion of a story continued from another page. The jump head uses one or two key words from the headline that introduced the story. It is set flush left followed by the words "Continued from Page ##."
  • 11. Headline writing skills
    • The headline should give the essence of the story.
    • It should fit in the limited space.
    • Should use strong action verbs.
    • Present tense.
    • Is/are/to be should be avoided.
    • Articles should be avoided.
    • Focus on active voice.
  • 12.
    • OPINIONS : Headlines on stories dealing with opinion should show the source of that opinion. If a story is attributed to a second hand source, this should be reflected in the headline
    • e.g. 'Courts too lenient' claims priest
    • REPEATS: Avoid repeating words in the same headline.
    • e.g. Former Jamshedpur journalist returns to Jamshedpur as public relations officer
  • 13.
    • Use short, vigorous words.
    • e.g. Win for victory, Ex for former, Job for appointment, Okay for accept , approve or adopt, Try for attempt the list goes on...
  • 14. Punctuation
    • Use single quotation marks instead of double.
    • Use commas to replace the word and. Also, use commas to make pauses or breaks in headline construction.
    • Use semicolons to divide thoughts, where needed especially three-line heads.
    • Use periods only after abbreviations.
  • 15. Tips for good headline writing
    • Tell the story.
    • Sell the story.
    • Match the tone of the story.
    • Be original.
    • Be accurate.