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Headline writing 101

Headline writing 101






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    Headline writing 101 Headline writing 101 Presentation Transcript

    • Headline Writing 101
      Andrew Chavez, Texas Center for Community Journalism
    • Types of type
      Football coach arrested after championship game brawl
      Charges pending in post-game scuffle that injured two
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    • More display type
      On the run
      Suspect in fatal shooting escapes from jail
    • The basics
      Has a noun and a verb
      Present tense
      Active voice
      Right: Council fires city manager
      Wrong: City manager fired by council
      Usually write in sentence case
    • There’s more
      Use attribution when necessary (except on opinion page)
      Mayor: Budget shortfall expected
      Budget shortfall expected, mayor says
      Numerals are OK
      Use quotes if warranted
      Report: Officer’s actions ‘inexcusable’
      No the, a, or an
    • Fitting headlines
      Make sure lines are at least close to equal
      Police chief’s firing aXXXXmysteryXXX
      Police chief
      fired, cause
    • Beginner’s method
      Don’t write on deadline if you don’t have to
      Read the story
      Think of keywords
      Seek out synonyms
      Take a break if you’re frustrated
      Make it a team effort
    • Best practices
      Grab attention
      Don‘t echo the lede
      Think how it will play on the page
      Watch for duplicate phrases
      Beware of awkward situations
      Consider the fold
      Don’t state the obvious
      School Board to meet Friday
      Make sure it accurately represents the story
    • Spice it up
      Don’t hide the news
      Good: Smith ends campaign
      Hidden news: Smith’s campaign over
      Try a possessive
      Without: Term of Smith not over, judge rules
      With: Smith’s term not over, judge rules
      Personify – occasionally
      With: Last day of wintry weather ahead
      Without: Wintry weather to take a break
    • Examples
      Virus prompts alteration in visitationsA gastrointenstinal illness could affect visitation at some local prison units this weekend, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.Visitation was cancelled last week at the Crain nit after 79 offenders were reported ill with the virus.
    • Examples
      Stomach bug may affect prisoner visits
    • Ranking
      Procedures to change for heavy trucksCounty road use will require 90-day permit, commissioners say
    • Good examples from you
      Making stronger tea togetherfor an opinion column on the tea party
    • Good examples from ACES
      Touch 'em allfor a story on a pair of 23-year-old friends who visited all 30 major league baseball stadiums in 50 days
    • Good examples from ACES
      Everybody plays, nobody winson a story about the All-Star game which ran out of players and ended in a tie.
    • Good examples from ACES
      Everybody plays, nobody winson a story about the All-Star game which ran out of players and ended in a tie.
    • Good examples from ACES
      This is, like, CNNCable News Network's latest investigativepiece: Find a younger, dumber, hipperviewership
    • Good examples from ACES
      Allergy season coming achoo!on a piece about the early onset of tree-pollen allergies
    • Good examples from ACES
      It’s Amman’s worldfor a story on Jordan cracking down on women’s rights
    • Q&A