Saturday, September 19, 2009

Storytelling in a headline

I really like this headline/readout, from today's paper (and I'll find out who committed this act of creativity and honor that person here)*:

Police: Driver hit cars for blocks
Then she kicked an officer in the groin.

The word 'then' makes this feel like a two-sentence story by making the action a sequence of events. It answers the unstated (but felt in a reader's mind) question, 'then what happened?' And that makes it pleasing to read -- more so than if, say, the readout had been 'She also kicked an officer in the groin.' That would have made it feel a bit more like a list.

Can we do more of this kind of headline storytelling?

*Jess says it's Matt Negrin, the second-newest addition to the desk. Nice work, Matt.