Monday, October 09, 2006

Tricky choice

In The Wichita Eagle today, there was an article on the front cover entitled, "Parents key to Internet safety," by Suzanne Perez Tobias. I wasn't very interested in this story, (lacking in children) but I started to read it anyway. The lead of the story trots out the name Mark Foley, and proceeds to reprint a part of one of his instant messaging conversations with a teenager. By the time I got to the jump, I was thinking, "why on earth didn't they use a headline that lets the reader know that this story is about Foley?"

However, as I continued reading, I discovered that the story itself really is about parental involvement in their child's Internet dealings. The headline, then, does fit the story. It just doens't fit the lead and the first few paragraphs. I don't know what I would have done with this story. The lead used Mark Foley as an example that draws readers in, but led me to think the headline was poorly written until after the jump, (and how many people read past the jump?) so what could have been done? I can't event begin to come up with a headline that would incorporate both the reader-snatching lead and the real message of the story in five or so words, but I think it could have been better.

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