This Just In …



[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Any journalist will tell you a well-written headline can mean the difference between getting your story at the top of the fold on Page 1, or settling for a small corner next to a press release for the Moose Lodge spaghetti feed. In fact, headlines are so important that some newspapers have editors who do nothing but come up with catchy titles to hook readers.

Not here at Siuslaw News.

We don’t even have a poofreader.

Does that mean we don’t give as much consideration to our headlines? Of course not! We’re professionals! I can’t tell you how many times my editor and I have haggled over just the right phrasing that covers “The Three I’s” of headline writing:

1) Informs
2) Interests
3) Intices Entices

Sorry, I meant “The two I’s and an ‘E'” of headline writing.

Just today, we were faced with creating the right headline for a story regarding a hot button issue. Frustrated (and possibly intoxicated), my editor assigned the task to me…


Sure, at a lesser paper that boring headline would probably fly. I decided to dig deeper…


It was better, but I decided to take another pass at it…


Then, the headline gods spoke! Or maybe slurred…

Clearly, digging any deeper for this headline was unnecessary.

And potentially hazardous.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble.)

38 thoughts on “This Just In …

  1. Pingback: This is What Happens When You Pick Up The Phone On Your “Day Off”… | You've Been Hooked!

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