February 17, 2014

HottyToddy.com, a website for people who love both Ole Miss and Oxford, posted this story Monday.

Are timebombs the new timelines?

Nope. But it did catch my attention. Could this be a typo? Nope.

I called Andy Knef, managing editor of HottyToddy. Turns out the story, which is an interactive graphic created by a journalism class at Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi, was posted previously and didn’t get any hits. Knef thought most readers didn’t get what an interactive timeline is, and so he changed the art and added a new headline.

“I was trying to make it a headline that would get attention,” he said in a phone interview.

Done.

Knef also told me that Winter Olympics aren’t very popular in Mississippi. But the work of journalism students was worth a second look, so he created a new headline designed to grab readers a bit more. Can we call that headline-bombing?

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Kristen Hare covers the people and business of local news and is the editor of Locally at Poynter. She previously worked as a staff writer…
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