Friday, December 26, 2008

Kinds of Headline Deks: Standard vs. Narrative

Standard drop (or dek) heds

Communities' recovery paces differ
Bouncing back from disaster could
take longer in less-well-off areas

State Attorney's Office gets astronaut case file
Nowak's arrest prompts review of psychological screening

N. Korea agrees to nuke deal
Main reactor to shut down within 60 days

One Year Later Golden Mosque Is Still in Ruins
Deep Scar in Sunni City
With a Shiite Shrine

Hybrids become more of a tough sell
Incentives offered on many models as gas prices fall

Seven Dead in Iraq Crash
U.S. chopper goes down near
Baghdad, fifth U.S. aircraft
lost in the past month

Narrative Drop (or Dek) Hed Examples
(Here, the second hed narrates a short story. It is written like a sentence, includes all the sort of words that would be excluded from a standard headline, and includes all the appropriate punctuation, including a period at end)

Quickly, here is an example of the difference:

Standard Hed:

Small towns, big dreams
County’s rural cities see downtown
revitalization as key to survival

Narrative Hed:

Small towns, big dreams
The county’s financially strapped
rural cities are hoping the ongoing
efforts at revitalizing their downtowns
will be their key to survival.

Narrative Examples

Grammy Vindication
The Dixie Chicks’ big win
has exposed tensions between
Nashville and Hollywood.

Ovations in Her 60s
Anja Silja’s life and career
are intertwined with legends.

So what does $250,000 get you these days?
The median resale price of a home in Central Florida has
hovered at a quarter of a million dollars for almost a year,
and analysts worry that figure could begin to fall.

Troops doubt intelligence quest in Iraq
A recent sweep for car-bomb
makers in Iraq has shown that
successes for U.S. intelligence
will take time to produce results.

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