Sunday, June 20, 2010

DWI = Dense With Information

Bonus: Which headline is DWI (Dense With Information)?

Nobel Peace Prize
goes to dissident,
angering Chinese

Peace Prize goes
to jailed dissident,
angering Chinese

Nobel committee
awards Peace Prize
to Chinese dissident

 Here is a version of an example of what I mean by DWI from my headline lecture:

Heds tell the story best when they are:

  • Clear
  • Specific
  • Precise
  • And are DWI = Dense with information
For example:
Original Hed =
Teenager found not guilty in killing, rape of UCLA college student

This hed has padding to fill out the line:
You don't need the word "college" - goes without saying
And you can replace three words - "found not guilty" - with one word - "acquitted"

Here are some keywords I listed before rewriting headline: teenager / acquitted / killing / rape / student / college student / of UCLA student / second trial burglary

So, a hed more DWI would be =
Second trial acquits teenager in UCLA student’s killing, rape

Second trial adds more information - that this is the second time this guy has been tried for killing and rape

You can apply this thinking to cutlines, blurbs, even the text of your story. This is an especially important skill to develop in writing good SEO headlines.

It is all about being precise and concise without being obscure.

1 comment:

hungkyo said...
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