Everybody reads newspaper headlines. The skill of writing good ones is vital for the journalistic deskman. Harold Evans demonstrates that a journalist needs more than just a knack, however; that he must employ all the arts of compression and allusion to make immediate sense, to attract the reader, and to tell the news. He shows how these skills can be learned by offering advice on:
- Fool proof techniques for writing headlines that fit the available space
- How to compress ideas and still be accurate
- When to use capitals and when not to
- The supremacy of the active verb, present tense
- How to write headlines that reflect the mood as well as content
- When the page should change to make way for a really good headline
As with the other volumes in the Editing and Design series, Harold Evans works from real news stories – here he includes a searching comparative examination of newspapers’ headline treatment of the sudden death in a London street of Adlai Stevenson.
Familiarity with the type he is using is as important to the deskman as his verbal skills. One of Harold Evans’s most valuable and enlightening lessons in News Headlines is a critical comparison of the headline typefaces most commonly used throughout the world, profusely illustrated with typefounder’s own settings and with newspaper examples. The opportunity this section gives for comparative examination of headline types is alone enough to make the book an essential tool for the experienced journalist or the aspiring editor.
In addition, there is a Headline Vocabulary – an invaluable thesaurus of words with the right simplicity and impact for headline use – a comprehensive Glossary of terms used in the newspaper trade, and Heading and Intro Exercises.