Great Metro newspaper headline for Cardiff City vs Crystal Palace match report

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Metro match report headlines

Metro might not be the most hard-hitting, investigative newspaper in the country, but for all the criticism some people give it, I for one think it’s very effective at what it does.

It shifts hundreds of thousands of units each day, something all papers are finding it more tricky than ever to do now, and has got its style just right for what it aims to do. In particular, I think the above headline, from today’s report about the match between Crystal Palace and Cardiff City, is great.

Concise

Eight words long, concise, with clever (but yes, pretty clichéd) wordplay, containing the names of both teams involved. As a sub-editor I admire that. I think most subs would.

It just struck me as doing everything a headline needs to do. Ok, it’s not The Sun’s iconic “Gotcha”, but how many headlines ever match that? Not a lot. This one is better than most.

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Sorry ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish again

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So Kelvin, as you say in today’s Independent, you’d shut all the journalism colleges down eh?

He proclaims “there’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper.”

That, for a start, is completely wrong.

If you’re to become a complete journalist and learn the real necessary skills needed, you need some kind of training.

Learning the skills

 How else will you learn about subbing, design, layout, interviewing, headline writing, use of pictures and how to structure a story to make it interesting, all at the same time?

If you took “the old-school route” as he puts it, you would be thrust into the job without having a clue how to juggle these requirements.

Yes, you would learn some basic stuff, but not very well or in any great depth.

No time to fail

On papers you don’t have time to fail, because of the pressure on you and the hundreds of people waiting to take your job.

You need time to make mistakes and learn from them, and learn about how a newsroom works before being thrown into one.

Best in the business

 There’s a reason I’m studying journalism at UCLan. And that’s so I can learn from some of the best former, or practicing, journalists out there.

The skills I now have can be applied to a vast plethora of jobs, not least PR, advertising, marketing, copywriting…the list goes on, and it’s a long one.

MacKenzie is living in a dream world if he thinks it’s that easy to “go straight from school and join the local press.”

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British newspapers: Unethical and sensationalised? Yeah, but so what

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Papers

(Pic: by Nick Clapp, of newspapers)

It’s often said newspapers have no morals, ethics or sensitivity. People complain about them being biased, sensationalised and prejudiced.

To be honest, this is largely true. And I for one am glad that’s the case.

No responsibility

 The truth is, newspapers have no genuine responsibility to be ‘fair’ and ‘objective’.

This is because they are not public service organisations. Yes, papers play a part in maintaining democracy.

But don’t forget, they are organisations designed to make profits and money first and foremost.

This is why they are full of adverts and fight so hard to get noticed amongst the competition. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating papers lying or making up stories.

 I’m just saying it’s not right or fair to expect them to be impartial.

As journalism students, we are told ‘don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.’ It’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve heard so far.

You may think what I’m saying is pretty unethical. But why is it? There’s no shame in trying to sell newspapers.

Techniques

Headline puns, big pictures and shocking headlines are the best way to do this.

Would you want to read something written in plain, boring language? No, nobody would. It may be factually correct, but it wouldn’t be interesting.

Take for example today’s Daily Express. This isn’t a paper I normally read, and I’m not advocating views in it. But as an example, think about this headline.

“Scandal as millions wait longer to see their doctor.” Now, is it really a scandal?

“People waiting longer to see doctors” would probably be more accurate. But it’s nowhere near as interesting.

The truth is, if you don’t like the way certain papers act, ignore them. You could go your whole life without ever needing to read one.

Like it or not though, the techniques used by papers to intrigue readers and keep their interest are clever and fantastic.

After all, about one in every 12 people will buy one daily. That’s pretty impressive.

So even if you don’t like them, at least show them some respect.

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