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In Case You Missed It

Democracy Fund TOM GLAISYER

Democracy Fund starts $2 million matching fund for nonprofit newsrooms

"The objective of this fund is to support nonprofit newsrooms delivering local, beat and investigative reporting."

Nieman Lab Ricardo Bilton

The Economist is using Medium to give readers an inside look at its reporting and production

"In December, the magazine’s social media team launched Inside The Economist, a Medium blog created to offer readers a behind-the-scenes look at its writing, reporting and production processes."

The Washington Post Margaret Sullivan

A troubling health-care bill rushes forward in secret. The media (mostly) shrug.

“There aren’t any images to show, so TV news particularly has nothing to cover.”

BuzzFeed News Steven Perlberg

How The Guardian Lost America

"Years after winning a Pulitzer for the Edward Snowden story, Guardian US has slashed costs, leaving employees stewing about mismanagement, infighting, a sexual harassment allegation, and unrealistic business expectations."

The New York Times Daniel Politi

Ernestina Herrera de Noble, media mogul in Argentina, dies at 92

"Ernestina Laura Herrera de Noble, the publisher of Argentina’s largest-circulation daily, Clarín, who was instrumental in turning her husband’s newspaper into one of the largest media conglomerates in the Spanish-speaking world, died on Wednesday in Buenos Aires. She was 92."

The Arab American News Ramzy Baroud

Journalism, history and war: Sit, type and bleed

"The typical newsroom set-up, where journalists chase after news headlines dictated by some centralized news gathering agency – often based in some Western capital – does not suffice any more."

HoldtheFrontPage David Sharman

BBC donates £50,000 to Cardiff journalism scholarship fund

"The BBC has donated £50,000 to a scholarship designed to support the training of young journalists."

Deutsche Welle Manasi Gopalakrishnan

Crisis of credibility for citizen journalists in Syria

"Citizen journalists have helped fill the media gap in Syria, after the regime clamped down on professional reporters. But how credible are these self-proclaimed journalists?"

The Guardian Ben Jacobs

Georgia special election candidate says journalism has fueled 'lack of civility'

"As voters go to the polls in a fiercely competitive special election in Georgia involving record spending, the Republican candidate has blamed social media and journalism for fueling a lack of civility in American society."

The Conversation Joan Leach

Science journalism is in Australia’s interest, but needs support to thrive

"Specialist science journalists are vital in our society in a few key ways.... And yet the number of specialist science reporters in Australia is in serious decline."

Digiday Lucinda Southern

How Dazed’s Another Man is using Instagram to power its new site

"Dazed Media has discovered Instagram as a low-risk way of building audiences online."

The Washington Post Elise Czajkowski

The ‘Daily Show’ Twitter library is just one of many art projects about Trump’s tweets

"The first exhibit in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library... was a series of a classically styled caricatures of prominent politicians. But instead of a witty caption, each picture bore the derogatory nickname that he or she had been assigned by President Trump on Twitter,"

Politico Hadas Gold

Carol Lee to join NBC News

"Already a frequent presence on television, Lee will appear across all NBC platforms including MSNBC, an NBC spokesperson said. She starts in July."

Variety Brian Steinberg

TV’s Trump effect: Advertisers focus on news, late-night buys ahead of primetime (EXCLUSIVE)

"President Donald Trump has roiled everything from national politics to environmental policy. Now he could be reworking the norms of TV advertising."

Variety Andrew Wallenstein and Todd Spangler

Sizing up BuzzFeed: Could this unicorn ever go public?

"The herd may be starting to thin for “unicorns,” the label Silicon Valley reserves for its most promising start-ups."

In case you missed it

Democracy Fund TOM GLAISYER

Democracy Fund starts $2 million matching fund for nonprofit newsrooms

"The objective of this fund is to support nonprofit newsrooms delivering local, beat and investigative reporting."

Nieman Lab Ricardo Bilton

The Economist is using Medium to give readers an inside look at its reporting and production

"In December, the magazine’s social media team launched Inside The Economist, a Medium blog created to offer readers a behind-the-scenes look at its writing, reporting and production processes."

The Washington Post Margaret Sullivan

A troubling health-care bill rushes forward in secret. The media (mostly) shrug.

“There aren’t any images to show, so TV news particularly has nothing to cover.”

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10 questions for your headline-writing checklist

Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. How do you ensure that they are engaging as well as accurate? Here are 10 questions to ask when you are writing (or editing) headlines.

  • Is it accurate? There’s no such thing as “kind of” accurate. When you check a headline, take note of each word and make sure it’s correct.
  • Does it undersell the story? The headline might be accurate, but it might not make the story’s point strongly enough. The headline should be as strong as the content allows.
  • Does it oversell the story? You want it to be strong, but you don’t want to cheat the reader.
  • Does it make the right point? Or is it yesterday’s news? A side issue? Is it merely the story’s entry point but not really the crux of it?
  • Is it easily understandable? Or do you have to read it two or three times to get it?
  • Does its tone match the story’s tone? Is it a light-hearted headline on a serious matter? An obvious pun that makes readers groan instead of read? A flat headline on a dramatic piece? The headline should be in tune with the story.
  • Does it match the overall personality of your site and organization? How edgy can you be? Who is your targeted audience?
  • Does it follow your organization’s style?
  • Is the most interesting part of the headline at the beginning or end? Try to put your best phrase up front.
  • Does it use good, interesting, efficient language? Or is it weighed down with vagueness, bureaucracy or boring words? Government officials review subcommittee’s initial vote on…. Zzzzzzzzzz.
  • Which brings us to the final test: Based on the headline you’re critiquing, would YOU read the story?

Taken from Web Headlines & SEO Essentials, an online course with John Schlander at Poynter NewsU. For more on headlines and SEO, visit Writing Online Headlines: SEO and Beyond.

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