This column has shared numerous “Headlines of the Day” or “Week” over the years – call it a bit of newspaper inside baseball, but a really well-written headline is a thing of joy.
The past week or so has produced some interesting headlines. Here’s a rundown.
A dish served cold
Down in Texas, a woman shot an alligator. But, wait, there’s more! The Daily Mail, based in London, told the complete story in the headline on Sept. 19:
Great-grandmother, 73, kills
a 12-foot alligator with a
single shot after it ate her
Four decks is pretty long, and there’s little left to add after that much verbiage.
Some stories ask questions for which there are no answers, such as the piece from The Washington Post on Sept. 20:
Woman pulls knife on security guard, hits him with fanny pack that had pigeon inside
The story itself offers no explanations. It only notes the pigeon was OK and at an animal shelter; it will be set free after the cops finish investigating the incident.
Puns are good
The British tabloids are always good for a clever headline or two. Starbucks is embroiled in a tax tiff with the government, allegedly making a lot of coin in the UK (£162 million) and not paying a lot of taxes (only £4.5 million), after previously vowing to pay more.
The Sun’s take:
Too little, too latte
MPs roast Starbucks over tax
No longer America’s dad
Here in the States, the New York tabloids can keep the pace of their brethren and sistern across the pond. The New York Post, in reporting on Bill Cosby’s 3-10 year prison sentence in its Sept. 26 issue, put a twist on the name of his famous TV character from the 1980s:
Then there’s always food
The Wall Street Journal provides the gold standard for American headline writing. They recently had a piece on the controversy started in New York when gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon ordered a cinnamon-raisin bagel with lox at a famous market. Apparently, purists demand that bagels with lox be savory (sesame, salt, poppy or onion), not sweet. The WSJ head, with an equally good drop-head:
Cinnamon-Raisin Bagels Are
Target of a Schmear Campaign
Controversy of New York candidate’s
food choice is latest battle in holey war
And finally, closer to home, the local Headline of the Week was in the Sept. 26 Food section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, of all places. In the print version of a story about tacos (yes, tacos) and what to put in them, they ran this headline:
Get in touch with your fillings
Bravo, RTD Foodies.
– Paul Fletcher