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.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writerโ€™s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

38 thoughts on “This Just In …”

    1. I’m so glad, Michelle ๐Ÿ˜‰
      And as for Beth, I would seriously consider repeating kindergarten if she we my teacher. Even if I had to sit in one of those little desks.

No one is watching, I swear...

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