Exercise: Headline writing for the web 04

May 21, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: exercises, headlines, teaching journalism.


Instructors: The purpose of this exercise is to provide students with some practice in writing headlines for the web. Headlines, in the words of Jakob Nielsen, should be “pearls of clarity.

Students: In the spaces on the right, write headlines for the stories below. You should read Headline writing for the web before starting this exercise.

Refer to the headline tips lower on the page as you do your work. If you click on Read more of the story, a new window will open that contains the entire story.

No headline can be more than 50 characters long.

Once you start, do not refresh your page while you are working or you may lose your work.

Story 1 – Wild fire

Two juveniles claimed responsibility Tuesday for a campfire that sparked a three-day fire that raged across southern Ticonderoga County last month.

The boys, ages 14 and 15, came to the sheriff’s office with their parents today and said they believed that it was their campfire that had begun the blaze. They were charged with ignoring sheriff’s safety signs concerning fires and have been released to the custody of their parents.

Story 2 – Leash law

The City Council rejected a proposal Monday that would charge dog owners whose pets bite people with a misdemeanor offense carrying penalties of up to $500 and five days in jail.

After an emotional one-hour debate, the council voted 5-2 against the measure introduced by council member Darden Clarke. Clarke said he has received at least five complaints about dog bites in his district during the past month.

Story 3 – School board

The City School Board named Mike Coleman, principal of Sandy Bar High School in Sandy Bar, La., to the top post at Haraway High School during its Monday meeting.

In a 5-4 vote, the board picked Coleman over Haraway assistant principal Juli McCorvey. Coleman and McCorvey were the finalists in a search that drew more than 40 applicants.

Story 4 – Youth group

Six girls attending a youth group camping trip were found early Sunday after spending the night alone Saturday in near-freezing temperatures at Mount Cheaha State Park.

They were discovered around 8 a.m. Sunday by a park ranger about two miles from where the rest of their party spent the night. The Methodist church group had gone to the park to spend time in the woods. The girls got lost when they took a late afternoon hike on one of the park’s nature trails.


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