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In Case You Missed It

CJR Carlett Spike and Pete Vernon

We analyzed two weeks of Spicer press briefings. Here’s what we learned.

"What we found, however, is that the mainstream media still got a chance to ask questions at every briefing we analyzed. In some cases, mainstream outlets were even selected to ask first questions."

Nieman Lab RICARDO BILTON

With truth and science under attack, Wired’s new editor Nick Thompson is planning a defense

"Wired is doing well, but this industry changes so fast that you have to be on top of all these opportunities and you have to look at ways you can evolve while staying core to what you really believe."

Paul Farhi The Washington Post

The Washington Post’s new slogan turns out to be an old saying

"It may be the most widely debated and commented upon newspaper slogan since . . . well, has there ever been a widely debated newspaper slogan?"

Columbia Journalism Review Lyz Lenz

How Pamela Colloff became the best damn writer in Texas

"'She’s the writer every writer turns to when they need help,' says Jake Silverstein, editor of New York Times Magazine and former Texas Monthly editor."

CNN Jim Sciutto, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, Manu Raju and Pamela Brown

White House asked FBI to knock down Trump-Russia stories; FBI refused

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN."

Alex Weprin and Peter Sterne Politico

Facebook's anti-Trump news surge

'I want to be as blunt as a punch in the eye,' says Dan Rather, whose page has gained a million followers in less than two months."

Elle TISH DURKIN

Kellyanne Conway isn't going anywhere

"For many Americans, Kellyanne Conway was a shock, invented out of whole cloth (and the tweets of her client). But her mendacious, loquacious assault on liberalism has been more than 20 years in the making."

Nieman Lab Laura Hazard Owen

3 (free) things that journalists can do right now to protect their data

"A guide for the slightly paranoid."

The New York Times SYDNEY EMBER

Sure the media is biased. But the enemy? Not quite.

"President Trump last week called the news media 'the enemy of the American people.' But in interviews around the country this week, Americans of varying political affiliations, even those with serious misgivings about the media, largely allowed that the president’s characterization had gone too far."

Compete Stephen Totilo and Tim Marchman

Gizmodo Media launches Compete, a new eSports website

"Welcome to Compete, a joint venture between Deadspin and Kotaku dedicated to covering the best, worst, dumbest, most thrilling, most interesting, and, generally, the most stupefying—in the better and worse senses of the word—in eSports and competitive gaming."

CNN Tom Kludt

Bannon rips 'corporatist, globalist media' at CPAC

"White House strategist Steve Bannon's hostility toward the press was on full display at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, repeatedly referring to the news media as 'the opposition party.'"

The Hollywood Reporter Natalie Jarvey

Disney lays off 80

"Maker Studios' talent network, which at one time grew to 55,000 creators, also is being slimmed down."

TalkingBizNews CHRIS ROUSH

News Corp CFO is out

"He will be replaced by Susan Panuccio, currently chief financial officer of News Corp Australia."

The New York Times RICHARD SANDOMIR

James Stevenson, ex-New Yorker illustrator, dies at 87

"James Stevenson spent nearly 50 years at The New Yorker gently skewering lawyers, businessmen and other members of the upper middle class — some of the same highly educated and privileged people who read the magazine."

Digiday SAHIL PATEL

Facebook wants longer videos, but takes away key view metric

"Facebook has removed a benchmark metric that allows publishers to see how many video views lasted for 30 seconds or longer. In its place, Facebook has propped up a standard that measures number of views after 10 seconds of video playtime."

In case you missed it

CJR Carlett Spike and Pete Vernon

We analyzed two weeks of Spicer press briefings. Here’s what we learned.

"What we found, however, is that the mainstream media still got a chance to ask questions at every briefing we analyzed. In some cases, mainstream outlets were even selected to ask first questions."

Nieman Lab RICARDO BILTON

With truth and science under attack, Wired’s new editor Nick Thompson is planning a defense

"Wired is doing well, but this industry changes so fast that you have to be on top of all these opportunities and you have to look at ways you can evolve while staying core to what you really believe."

Paul Farhi The Washington Post

The Washington Post’s new slogan turns out to be an old saying

"It may be the most widely debated and commented upon newspaper slogan since . . . well, has there ever been a widely debated newspaper slogan?"

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4 guidelines for writing SEO-friendly headlines

Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. They link readers with our content, giving us a chance to reach our audience across a sea of information.

Headlines also help search engines decide whether our offerings match what users are looking for. Most search queries are two to four words long and consist of proper names and keywords. The best headlines will match the most common relevant search queries. Here are some guidelines for choosing your words.

  • Keywords. Common words and phrases that describe the subject of your story: “earthquake,” “city council election,” “starting lineup,” “benefit concert.”
  • Proper names. Search terms tend to contain proper names. Names of people, places, companies and organizations are all common search queries, either by themselves or with other keywords. Including commonly used names in your headline will help you match such queries.
  • Full personal names. Users searching for information on a person are more likely to use both first and last names in their searches, but print headlines have traditionally only used last names. An SEO-friendly headline will use both names. (Also: If the author of the article is well known and likely to be searched -- an opinion columnist, for example -- you might want to use the author's full name in the headline.)
  • Unique information. What is it about your story that people might be looking for that other websites don’t have?

A word of caution: You are writing for readers, not search engines. Sometimes headline writers get carried away with SEO. It’s counterproductive to put these goals ahead of clarity and common sense.

Taken from Writing Online Headlines: SEO and Beyond, a self-directed course by Eric Ulken at Poynter NewsU.

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