Types of headlines

Written by devon willis | 13/05/2017
Types of headlines
Headlines are meant to summarise news content in a sentence. (Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Different types of headlines are used in journalism; the specific type used is based on the structure of the news story. Print media is geared toward informing the public on various topics. An important aspect in getting and holding the attention of the public is through the use of attractive headlines, no longer than one, two or in some cases three lines. Headlines should summarise in a few striking words the news story featured under it. Writers think that about half the total time spent on writing a journalistic piece should be spent on writing a headline that gets attention.

Flush Left Headline

This is one of the more modern headline forms in use. It consists of two or three lines of headline, each one set flush left to the left side of the space. The design is simple and allows freedom in writing the headline. No rules govern the writing of the flush left headline; however a uniform style for better results is generally adopted. This type of headline is popular because it is easy to write, allows flexibility in unit count and provides a feeling of airiness to the page with the white space.

Banner Headline

The journalism industry is highly competitive, and attracting the attention of the readers, viewers or listeners is the most important thing. The audience should have a reason for choosing a particular newspaper, television channel or radio station. Headlines play an important role in attracting attention, especially in print media. Banner headlines are words printed in extra large letters across the top of the cover page of the newspaper. Startling banner headlines that describe in a few words a happening story can help increase sales.

Inverted Pyramid Headline

There are distinct advantages to using the inverted pyramid headline style for news writing. People often are in a rush and seldom have time to read every word of a story. The advantage of the inverted pyramid headline is that it concentrates on presenting pertinent facts first. With inverted pyramid stories, the most important information goes in the first paragraph, and the less important information follows to the very end of the story. The inverted pyramid headline generally consists of three lines, the first runs across the column and the other two lines are shorter than the first line. The headline is created from the informative facts presented at the start of the story.

Cross-Line Headline

The cross-line headline is quite similar to a banner headline. While it is a large headline, it does not span the entire width of the page, but it does run across all the columns of the story it pertains to. The cross-line headline is one of the simplest types of headlines, consisting of a single line and one or more columns in width. It can run flush on both sides of the paper or it can have the words centred over the columns. This type of headline is generally used when there is more than one column for a story and to produce a formal look.

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