Monday, February 24, 2014

The Art of Headline Writing: Painting Pictures with Words

Good Day World!

As a print and digital journalist, I enjoy the art of writing headlines.

There’s a lot of thought that goes into writing a good headline. The ability to summarize a story in the least amount of words can be taught.

But, the great headlines, the ones that grab you and leave an impression, are written by wordsmith’s that take the art to a new level.

To be fair, there’s sensational headlines that generally get a lot of views that aren’t really that well written, but their salacious content gets an overwhelming response. For example:

Topless Woman Masturbating In Van Arrested On Gun Charge

The hot headline above is in a separate category. Straight news headlines are more commonly used in news publications, blogs, and websites. For example:

After the Gold: Olympic Medalists Struggle with Real Life

But really clever mainstream headlines are harder to come by. Here’s a couple of good examples:

1) A Surprisingly Simple Way to Get Out of the ‘Rat Race’ (and into the chips!) 

2) Don’t Envy the Plumber - Be One

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget funny headlines! Here three good examples:

1) Alton Attorney Accidently Sues Himself (from a Madison, Wisconsin, Legal Journal)

2) Tiger Woods Plays With His own Balls (from an AP news story)

3) County to Pay $250,000 to Advertise Lack of Funds (from the Register-Guard) 

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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