News story headline writing and copy

Read the whole article first to determine what kind of story it is. Having determined the type of story, read the article again.

News story headline writing and copy

Based on a lecture by Ross Collinsprofessor of communication, North Dakota State University The title above a story in a newspaper, magazine, newsletter or, for that matter, web site is called a headline, or "hed" "head" in print journalism "heading" in online pages.

It has the same function in mass media writing as a lead, to call attention to the story, to snare people in. I often say mass media publications rely on four objects to entice readers into a story, in this order: If you can get the reader through the lead, chances are fairly good he or she will read the rest of the story.

Headlines writers who are good at what they do have something in common, I think, with advertising copy writers. They must be accurate, entertaining, pithy and, if possible, clever--all in limited space. What seems unfair is that neither one can put his or her byline on the work.

Headlines need to be accurate, first, and to fairly reflect the theme of the story.

Be clear about your main benefit

Most readers don't realize that those who write stories, the reporters, almost never write their own headlines. They may suggest headlines, but more often space needs or other considerations force an editor to fashion something different.

What's more, headlines are too often inaccurate, or biased. When a story is inaccurate, the reporter gets blamed, and takes the complaints. When a headline is inaccurate, most people assume the reporter wrote it.

So again, the writer gets the complaints, unfairly. Ethical editors who also don't want those whiny reporters on their case take care with their headlines. So if you have the choice between being lively and being accurate, well, accuracy has to come first.

Headlines fall into two categories: Standard headlines are the kind of heads we're used to from a lifetime of exposure to print media.

It's really odd that we're so accepting of this approach, as it's not at all conversational.

Video News - CNN

You see a car accident. You tell a friend: You say, "Wow, I saw a car hit two pedestrians outside the mini-mall today! Even if it happened in the past, we emphasize present tense, perhaps because in the media business we want to emphasize NOW, not old stuff that already happened.

It sounds more fresh to write "Mayor supports zoning proposal" than "Mayor supported zoning proposal at meeting. Editors usually stick to serious heads for serious news stories. Lighter fare or feature stories might call for different treatment.

That's when good headline writers can prove that they could make a lot more money writing advertising copy, should they wish to stoop so low.

Business News, Personal Finance and Money News - ABC News

A second general category of head is the label head, or title.A headline's purpose is to quickly and briefly draw attention to the story. It is generally written by a copy editor, but may also be written by the writer, the page layout designer, or other most important story on the front page above the fold may have a larger headline if the story is unusually important.

The New York Times's 21 July . The True Story Behind The Biggest Fake News Hit Of The Election.

news story headline writing and copy

BuzzFeed News found a network of over 40 sites that have published more than fake news stories. Precise communication in a handful of words? The editors at BBC News achieve it every day, offering remarkable headline usability.

news story headline writing and copy

Watch "Vice President Pence joins Face the Nation and discusses the search for the NYT Op-Ed author", a CBSN video on View more CBSN videos and watch CBSN, a live news stream. Mar 29,  · As content marketing efforts have dramatically increased for modern brands, so has the importance of writing catchy, clickable headlines for online copy.

Whether it's for a blog post, an email. How do you write a news story? News writing follows a basic formula. While styles can diverge more dramatically depending on the kind of story – a feature story may look and sound very different than a hard news story – all news stories are cut from the same mold.

The first element of news writing is, of course, to deliver the news.

LXer: Linux News