Headline news

A headline from the Journal’s Feb. 25 front page, “Scalding tirades rule at GOP debate,” was chosen as the “most eloquent” headline of the day, from a group of hundreds written around the country, by the Newseum, an educational and promotional organization with an interactive museum in Washington, D.C.

Admittedly, it wasn’t a classic like “Sun or rain predicted today, dark tonight,” or “Man accused of killing lawyer receives new attorney,” but cheers to my colleagues in the news department; the notice is certainly worthy of a tip of the hat and recognition of a masterful approach to a difficult task. I say that as someone who writes headlines as part of his job, but still finds them to be challenging.

(Mick Scott in the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal)

This reader wondered: Does the Newseum hand out daily headline prizes? A Newseum FAQ page says:

How do you decide which newspaper to feature each day?

A portion of the front pages we receive each morning is included in our Front Pages exhibit at the Newseum. However, all of the 800 or more front pages received are included in that day’s online exhibit. If you don’t see a particular newspaper that was previously posted, the newspaper simply may not have submitted that day’s front page, or there may have been a technical problem with the electronic transmission.

What criteria do you use in choosing the Top 10 front pages?

Selections for the Top 10 are at each of the daily editor’s discretion and may focus on headlines, photos, innovative design or something else that elevates the front pages above the rest.

A query to the Newseum drew this response from Sonya Gavankar, manager/public relations:

Thank you for your interest in our Today’s Front Pages. Monday through Friday we write a special article called Today’s Top Ten that curates some of the front pages and selects a theme for the day. We focus on headlines and front page layout.

So … not so much interesting or even eloquent* headlines, but interesting pages (on which, to be sure, headlines play a part).


  • No view is expressed on whether “scalding tirades” is eloquent, or whether the reader takes it for a typo for “scolding.”



Comments: 2

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Phillip Blanchard

I will go out on a limb and say “scalding tirades” is not eloquent.




A vivid headline, perhaps, but this is also a mixed metaphor. Hot things are “scalding,” but “rule” is a subject for kings or governments. For this reason, I don’t think the headline deserves high marks.



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