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Headline Caption Writing
 

Headline Caption Writing

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    Headline Caption Writing Headline Caption Writing Presentation Transcript

    • Headline & Caption Writing: When and when not to break the rules! Elizabeth Pearson, Andrew Scott
    • Types of Headlines
    • Direct Headlines
      • Pure silk blouses – 30 percent off
    • Indirect Headline
      • Fresh bait works best
    • News Headline
      • My exclusive interview with Steve Jobs
    • How to Headline
      • How to build a house of cards
    • Question Headline
      • Do you close the bathroom door even when you’re the only one home?
    • Command Headline
      • Subscribe to the DM today!
    • Reason Why Headline
      • Two hundred reasons why open source software beats Microsoft
    • Testimonial Headline
      • ‘ I read Copyblogger first thing each morning,’ admits Angelina Jolie
    • Rules for Headlines
    • Use the active voice
      • Effective headlines usually involve logical sentence structure, active voice and strong present-tense, active verbs.
    • A “capital” idea: Moving on
      • Do not capitalize every word.
      • Do capitalize the first word after a colon.
    • Number, please
      • Example: 
      • 3 die in crash
    • To the left, to the left
      • NO exceptions unless told otherwise!!
    • It’s XXX-rated?
      • Examples: 
      • Lincoln, Douglas to debate UNACCEPTABLE
      • at new KU Dole Center xxx
      • Lincoln, Douglas to debate BETTER
      • at KU’s new Dole Center xx
      • Lincoln-Douglas RULE EXCEPTION
      • debate today xxx
      • at Dole Center
    • Punctuation normal — mostly
      • Examples: 
      • Single Quotes
      • Lincoln: ‘The war has begun’
      • Paraphrase
      • Lincoln: War inevitable; victory essential
      • Lincoln says war inevitable; Davis agrees
    • “And” punctuation replacement
      • Examples: 
      • (awkward)
      • Lincoln offers compromise, Davis Declines
      • (better)
      • Lincoln offers compromise; Davis declines
      • (best)
      • Lincoln offers an ‘out,’ but Davis declines
    • Even more on punctuation
      • Examples: 
      • Clinton says there was no affair UNACCEPTABLE
      • witness should ‘to tell the truth’
      • Clinton says no affair, that BETTER
      • witness should ‘tell the truth’
      • Clinton: No affair; Starr: His probe RULE EXCEPTION
      • proves it happened more than once
    • Speaking of ambiguity, double entendres
      • Example: 
      • Textron Inc. makes offer
      • to Screw Co. stockholders
    • Who (and what) is whom (or what)?
      • Examples: 
      • Jones to fill Who is Jones?
      • vacancy on
      • city council
      • Lincoln-Douglas Good
      • debate today
      • on K.C. radio
    • Other Rules
      • Abbreviations
      • Not acceptable in stories, yet great in headlines KS, MS
      • Polly want a cracker?
      • Don’t rip-off the writer’s headline!
      • More to avoid
      • editorializing, exaggeration, generalizing or long words
      • No ‘a’ or ‘and’ or ‘the’?
      • Avoid unless needed for clarity
    • Don’t be cute, unless called for
      • Example: 
      • Skywalkers in Korea
      • cross Han Solo
           Kwon Won-tae of South Korea participates in the first World High Wire Championships in Seoul, in which participants cross the Han River on a 1 km (0.62 miles) wire, May 3, 2007. The event is part of the annual "Hi Seoul Festival" organised by Seoul City which began April 27 and lasts ten days.
    • Finally, the ‘doo-dah’ rule
      • Example: 
      • City’s singers “doo-dah”
      • in good tune “doo-dah”
    • Practice Time!
      • Take two stories given and create your own headline!
    • Caption Writing
    • Hot tips for Caption Writing
      • Check the facts. Be accurate!
      • Avoid stating the obvious. "Dennis Rodman smiles as he kicks a broadcast photographer in the groin."
      • Always identify the main people in the photograph.
      • Don't let cutlines recapitulate information in the head or deck or summary.
      • Avoid making judgments. "An unhappy citizen watches the protest..." Can you be sure that he is unhappy? Or is he hurting. Or just not photogenic. If you must be judgmental, be sure you seek the truth.
    • Hot tips for Caption Writing
      • A photograph captures a moment in time. Whenever possible, use present tense. This will creates a sense of immediacy and impact.
      • Don't try to be humorous when the picture is not.
      • Descriptions are very helpful for viewer. The person dressed "in black," "holding the water hose," "sulky from chagrin," or "standing to the left of the sofa, center" are helpful identifying factors.
      • Be willing to allow for longer captions when more information will help the reader/viewer understand the story and situation.
      • Use commas to set off directions from the captions to the picture. "Kachira Irby, above,..."or "Kennetra Irby, upper left..."
    • Hot tips for Caption Writing
      • Don't assume. Ask questions in your effort to inform and be specific. Be willing to contact and include the visual reporter.
      • Avoid using terms like "is shown, is pictured, and looks on."
      • If the photograph is a historic or file photo, include the date that it was taken. Mayor David Dinkins, 1993.
      • Conversational language works best. Don't use clichés. Write the caption as if you're telling a family member a story.
      • Quotes can be an effective device, be willing to use them when they work.
    • References: Poynter Institute Online http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=4355 Copy Blogger http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-write-headlines-that-work/ Writing Effective Headlines http:// web.ku.edu/~edit/heads.html