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Web headlines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    How many of you change headlines for the Web? I've been doing it, since my paper tends to abbreviate the names of cities or uses a lot of headlines that are useful for features in the print edition, but not helpful for readers on the Web site.

    One reporter, though, changed a hed a made to have it precisely explain what is happening in the story. So it was changed from "project completed" to "first phase of project completed". No one changed the original headline, which did not make sense on the Web.

    Really splitting hairs, since the construction crews are gone for several months at least, but this reporter has to use parentheses in every in almost every quote in he/she uses to explain it.
  2. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I don't understand that example.

    Our shop changes the headlines for the Web, but usually because stand-alone headlines don't work particularly well there ("Tiger Hunting" on this weekend's PGA Tour event, for example). They're usually more direct, news-style headlines than in the paper.

    What I don't understand, though, is why orphaned words are commonplace on Web headlines. Shouldn't this be a simple check?
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    zebracoy: I clarified the example, but it seems as if the headlines that some people put in for the Web are either vague or too specific, so why read the story?
  4. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Yeah we change hedlines for the web. Not all the time.

    But the web heds don't restrict you to like a 4-42-1 or a punch hed that may work well with the story/photo package, but loses impact on the web with the items separated.

    Ours are to clarify more not to become more vague
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    At my last job, I was required to change 99 percent of the headlines. At my current post, I change about half of them to make them more descriptive and informative. There's no space limit on the interwebs, so I don't limit myself to seven words.

    Subheads don't show up until the story page so those are essentially worthless. Sometimes I will combine them with semicolons or something. Anything to get more hits.
  6. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    headlines on websites need to be fairly specific to the subject to increase its "searchability"

    the more keywords in a headline (ie, Tiger Woods loses PGA championship to South Korean Y.E. Yang) increases its potential ranking on Google.

    Its called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO)
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