Steve Buttry to copy editors: 'Say goodbye to obscure pun headlines'

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 Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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