CNN Headline Analysis Activity

3 good headlines:

1. IPhone struggles to gain ground in China

Summarizes content and attracts the attention of readers


2. CNN poll: Romney gains one point after GOP convention

summarizes content  

“CNN poll” helps reader index content and recognize the context of the “one point”

 sets the tone for the article


3. Suicide attack kills 25 in eastern Afganistan

            Summarizes content, informative

            Sets/depicts mood and tone


3 poor headlines:  

1. Obama revealed: the man, the president

This headline is too vague and does not properly summarize the content. “The man, the president” leaves the reader guessing about the content of the article. The headline is referring to a CNN documentary “Obama Revealed: the man, the president,” thus the following headline better represents the article:

CNN documentary: “Obama Revealed” to air this week

 This headline properly summarizes the content, helps the reader index the content, and attracts the reader’s attention. The better a headline represents the information of the article, the more likely the reader will be to continue reading.


2. Stress may harm brain—but recovers

While this headline is attention grabbing, it is misleading and does not properly summarize the content of the article. The article was referring to a study of brain damage that deployed soldiers experienced. This is an extreme level of stress that is different from the day-to-day stress the average person experiences. Thus, the following headline is more appropriate:

Study shows impact of stress on soldiers


3. Key Afgan linked to torture, drugs  

This headline packs too much information into too few words. It is difficult for the reader to discern the content of the article and it does not properly summarize the content. The headline seems to accuse the subject rather than clarify that he is “under scrutiny” as the article actually suggests.

Afgan intelligence chief under scrutiny  

This headline does a better job summarizing the content and attracts the attention of readers without making a direct accusation against the subject.

Hyperlinks that need improvement:

Ready for IPhone 5? Apple announces event next week

Hyperlink text: at a separate event, likely in October

You would go to this link wanting to find out the date and more about the specific event; however, the link takes readers to an irrelevant Bloomberg article that has to do with the display screen of the mini IPad.


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