Multimedia StoryTelling

By the students of MCJ300 at The University of Southern Mississippi

Sun Herald uses different headlines for online, versus print stories

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When I picked up my Sun Herald this morning, I was delighted to find examples of what I was talking about in class yesterday (Sept. 26, 2012) when writing headlines for multimedia and other online news. We were talking about the need to have different headlines for readers (print) versus search engines (online).

Here are two examples from today’s paper:

For a story about a ton of alligators in southern Mississippi, the print version’s headline reads, “Coast counties up to their ears in alligators.” The online version’s headline is less cute, but easier for Google’s spiders to understand: “South Mississippi is home to 38 percent of the state’s alligators.”

Of course, the print version is a bit more fun. We all know what “up to their ears” means. But, as we discussed in class, that will elude a computer trying to sort the information. The online version uses the type of words people might type into a Google search to find such a story.

Here’s is the second example: The print version’s headline for a story about a new garbage company taking over reads, “Time to can the old garbage cans.” The online version is less fun (not play on words that a computer won’t get) but it is more to the point: “New garbage company ready to clean up Harrison County.”

That’s pretty good. It names the community, which, as we discussed, is important. Would be even better if the headline names the new company, WastePro, because people might search for that.

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Written by bloggingmom67

September 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

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