Monday, September 21, 2015

What do you look for in a news story?

                                Good Day World!

When I was a newspaper editor back in the late 1970s the already old adage; “If a dog bites man – no story. But, if man bites dog – then you have a story,” was used to teach journalism students the basics in news gathering.

That 20th century advise has been given steroids in the 21st century.

Journalism students today must compete with other extreme (man not only bites dog, but eats dog and wears it skin over his face) stories that need gotcha headlines.

What does it take to get your attention? Perhaps some of the examples listed below may apply:

Meth Lab Found in Taco Bell

Newly Released Dashcam Video Shows Police Shooting of Jonathan Ferrell

Man Accused Of Masturbating In Driveway 3 Times In A Week

Woman Tries Eating Crack Cocaine In Front Of Cops, Police Say

Florida Man Chews Off Fingerprints In Hopes Of Not Being ID'd

Headline writing has always been an art. Reading the evolution of headlines is a fascinating study into our culture. Try reading headlines from newspapers in the 1960s, or the 1880s, to see what I mean.

We are being bombarded from more news sources than ever before thanks to the internet and social media. The competition for your attention has never been greater.

If headlines today don’t instantly shock, disgust or amaze, they might as well be written in invisible ink!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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