For this assignment, we are to choose five “bad” and five “good” headlines we’ve found on the Net. I’ve just looked at two sites: CNN, US and broadcast-based and the UK Guardian, with its print background.
Apart from telling the story succinctly and with impact, we have been told that web headlines should be easy to find in a search engine, so should have key words. The absence of that Google-friendly requirement is what would make the following headlines “bad”:
• Time running out for kidnapped duo. cnn.com
• Body of missing Briton found in pit. guardian.co.uk
• Fears for sailors trapped in sunken ship. cnn.com
• Pre-collapse photos show bends on bridge. guardian.co.uk
• Shops defy binge brinking plans. guardian.co.uk
What makes some of the headlines work for the reader, though, if not for Google, is the fact that one wants to find out what happened. In the only one I clicked on, the Briton in the headline above turned out to have been killed in Jamaica.
Here are some “good” ones:
• China blasts Dalai Lama, Pelosi on Tibet. guardian.co.uk
• Bill Richardson endorses Obama. cnn.com
• Krill fishing threatens the Antarctic. guardian.co.uk
• Capello recalls Robinson. guardian.co.uk
Here’s one that does not fulfill the search requirements but is a great headline anyway, and one which I clicked on immediately: