Monday, March 07, 2005

Writing headlines -- it ain't easy

“Headline writers have to achieve that accuracy under some of the most stressful conditions you can imagine, with tight deadlines and a very small number of words to work with. Anyone who thinks headline writing is easy should try to summarize the result of a complicated debate on a zoning issue in four or five words and still abide by rules like use the active voice, use a key word or phrase from the story, don’t use names of people who are not widely recognized, don’t parrot the lead sentence in the story, etc.”

So says Dave Solomon, editor of the Nashua Telegraph. The paper's reader representative quoted him after headline complaints.


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