Steve Buttry to copy editors: ‘Say goodbye to obscure pun headlines’

“Let’s be honest: Newspapers have been way too tolerant of puns in headlines. A great pun can make a great headline, but too many pun headlines are silly and difficult to understand. You might get away with that in a newspaper, when story placement or an accompanying photo also attract readers. But a pun headline that doesn’t have the right keywords is deadly for digital traffic. … Don’t value humor or cleverness above SEO.”

Related: Punny headlines win copy editing awardsDenver Post, Bay Area News Group revamp story editing with fewer copy editors | John McIntyre: Expect first drafts, quickly edited, after Denver Post eliminates copy desk

Steve Buttry

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • Anonymous

    Days is back at the Daily News: Clever puns will be back!!!