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In Case You Missed It

The New York Times MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

In Trump-CNN battle, two presidents who love a spectacle

"'Our folks are just doing their jobs,' Mr. Zucker declared at a recent lunch with journalists, who prodded him about the slings and arrows that Mr. Trump has gleefully lobbed his way. 'They wear those insults as a badge of honor.'"

Digiday SAHIL PATEL

Meet CNN's 6-person cartoons team

"Funded by CNN, Great Big Story is an independent subsidiary of the news giant focused on inspirational and edgy content for social and mobile platforms."

The Washington Post Erik Wemple

Opinion: Sean Spicer is losing his grip

"Spicer didn’t respond to emails. But here’s a good one for him: What’s next?"

Politico Jack Shafer

How to know when a Trump story becomes a scandal

"What are the chances the larva of the Russia scandal now growing on the Trump presidency will mature into pupa form and ultimately emerge, wings flapping, as a spitting, snarling adult scandal?"

The Washington Post Margaret Sullivan

Daniel Ellsberg asks: Who will be the next Snowden?

"Almost five decades after the first Pentagon Papers story was published in 1971, revealing the secret history of the Vietnam War, the 85-year-old Ellsberg still isn’t done making trouble."

Politico REBECCA MORIN

Press pool left in darkness as Trump dines at his hotel

"With the pool reporter sidelined, and the symbolism hard to miss, many journalists speculated on social media about what the president was up to."

Politico ANNIE KARNI

Sean Spicer targets own staff in leak crackdown

"Upon entering Spicer’s second floor office, staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a 'phone check,' to prove they had nothing to hide."

The Boston Globe Emily Sweeney

Margaret Sullivan receives First Amendment Award

"Sullivan accepted the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award on Friday before a large crowd of journalists, lawyers, educators, students, and media executives at NEFAC’s annual awards luncheon at the Marriott Long Wharf."

The New York Times Joel Simon

CPJ boss: Trump is damaging press freedom in the U.S. and abroad

"In President Trump’s carpet bombing of the news media, it is not just the United States’ global reputation that is collateral damage. Rather, it is the brave journalists on the front line who risk their lives and liberty to bring the world the news."

New York Post Kevin Dugan

Bloomberg saleswoman sues over rape, rampant drug culture

"Ferris wasn’t the only person to harass the woman, it is alleged. At a 2012 Christmas party at the home of Executive Editor Ted Merz, a second editor, Joe Brusuelas, made 'lewd comments' and propositioned her to leave in a 'private car,' according to the suit."

The Huffington Post Michael Calderone

Trump’s war on the media echoes 2009. But the press may find it harder to fight

"Solidarity seems more elusive in the Trump era than when the Obama White House marginalized Fox News."

Politico Hadas Gold

Media companies rethink their WHCA dinner party plans

"MSNBC, which also hosts an elaborate after-dinner party said on Friday that it had no update on the status of its event. Typically, invitations start going out toward the end of March, so there’s still time to decide, one way or another."

ProPublica Jessica Huseman

Podcast: How reporters really use unnamed sources

"She was previously an education reporter at The Teacher Project and Slate."

Axios Mike Allen

Bloomberg cancels WHCA dinner afterparty

"A Bloomberg spokesperson told us: 'We surveyed some of the past attendees and didn't get as much interest in a party this year as we've had in the past, so we decided to focus on the dinner and the WHCA.'"

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."

In case you missed it

The New York Times MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

In Trump-CNN battle, two presidents who love a spectacle

"'Our folks are just doing their jobs,' Mr. Zucker declared at a recent lunch with journalists, who prodded him about the slings and arrows that Mr. Trump has gleefully lobbed his way. 'They wear those insults as a badge of honor.'"

Digiday SAHIL PATEL

Meet CNN's 6-person cartoons team

"Funded by CNN, Great Big Story is an independent subsidiary of the news giant focused on inspirational and edgy content for social and mobile platforms."

The Washington Post Erik Wemple

Opinion: Sean Spicer is losing his grip

"Spicer didn’t respond to emails. But here’s a good one for him: What’s next?"

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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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