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In Case You Missed It

Huffington Post Karen Barlow

Lost trust in the news? Let's all de-fake it

"Just when we need to get our facts straight, trust is low and it is not budging. Reality is under question."

Journalism.co.uk Caroline Scott

Tool for journalists: Enigma Public, for finding and analysing public datasets

"This free platform lets users explore public datasets to find the information they need for their next project or investigation."

Press Gazette Dominic Ponsford

Grenfell Tower fire disaster suggests more journalism is needed in London - not less

"Sometimes, journalists’ inquiries are unwelcome and they can become a target for people to release their grief and anger. But looking at the Kensington tragedy I would argue the lessons from this are not the need for less journalism, but more."

The Conversation Andrew Dodd

Should governments provide funding grants to encourage public interest journalism?

"Whether government should fund public interest journalism in Australia is a question a Senate select committee is currently being asked to consider."

Financial Times David Bond

Old news media beat social in battle for public trust

"Less than a quarter of social media users think it does a good job in separating fact from fiction, according to a report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism."

The Conversation Simon Levett

Journalists in war zones tread a fine line between safety and freedom of speech

"Journalists are increasingly threatened and assassinated in conflict zones worldwide. But could the need for their protection be causing harm to free speech, and increasing the production of one-sided journalism?"

Digiday Max Willens

Limited in their ability to monetize video on Facebook, publishers eye video-licensing opportunities

"Digital video is a seller’s market. So, publishers are starting to think like networks."

The Wall Street Journal Austen Hufford

Media startups try a lower-cost model: Unpaid student writers

"Chapter-based, for-profit media companies like Spoon University and Odyssey have been popping up in college markets across the U.S."

Digiday Lucia Moses

A BuzzFeed IPO could threaten the innovation that helped it grow

"Wall Street is learning to appreciate innovation, but BuzzFeed would have to educate Wall Street on what being a modern media company means."

Nieman Lab Richard Fletcher and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Using social media appears to diversify your news diet, not narrow it

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, our analysis shows that social media use is clearly associated with incidental exposure to additional sources of news that people otherwise wouldn’t use — and with more politically diverse news diets."

CNBC Matt Rosoff

Jeff Bezos has advice for the news business: 'Ask people to pay. They will pay'

"After nearly four years running the Post, which Bezos says turned a profit in 2016 and is expected to do the same this year, Bezos has some valuable lessons to pass along to the rest of the news industry,"

CNN Oliver Darcy

A couple claimed they learned to live without food, and news outlets ate it up

"The sky is blue. The grass is green. Humans need food and water to survive. Well, unless you believe a story published in several major news outlets over the past week."

Associated Press Jeff Horowitz, Jon Gambrell and Jack Gillum

Wall Street Journal fires correspondent over ethics conflict

"The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday fired its highly regarded chief foreign affairs correspondent after evidence emerged of his involvement in prospective commercial deals — including one involving arms sales to foreign governments — with an international businessman who was one of his key sources."

Nieman Lab Laura Hazard Owen

News apps are making a comeback. More young Americans are paying for news. 2017 is weird.

"The United States recently elected an unusual president. And to go with the times, Americans are exhibiting some behaviors in media consumption that are, if not unusual, then at least different from those of people in other countries."

Journalism in the Americas Paola Nalvarte

Latin American laws on access to public information are among the best in the world: Unesco report

"More than 100 countries in the world have a law in their national legislation that allows access to public information. Latin America is the region with developing countries that has advanced most in this respect, even surpassing certain aspects of the laws of European Union countries,"

In case you missed it

Huffington Post Karen Barlow

Lost trust in the news? Let's all de-fake it

"Just when we need to get our facts straight, trust is low and it is not budging. Reality is under question."

Journalism.co.uk Caroline Scott

Tool for journalists: Enigma Public, for finding and analysing public datasets

"This free platform lets users explore public datasets to find the information they need for their next project or investigation."

Press Gazette Dominic Ponsford

Grenfell Tower fire disaster suggests more journalism is needed in London - not less

"Sometimes, journalists’ inquiries are unwelcome and they can become a target for people to release their grief and anger. But looking at the Kensington tragedy I would argue the lessons from this are not the need for less journalism, but more."

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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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Since its founding in 1975, The Poynter Institute has had one goal: to elevate journalism. More than 40 years later, our role in strengthening democracy has never been more important.

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