Monday, June 29, 2009

Downstyle makes headlines easier to read

As part of my training for my new job with the Examiner, I have been instructed to use Associate Press Downstyle for my headlines. They say this style is being adopted increasingly in reporting because it is easier to read. Only the first letter of a title, proper names, and letters after punctuation are capitalized. Capitalization breaks up the flow of reading when the eye has to go up and down.

Headlines are also supposed to say straight-out what the article is about. This takes away some of the writer’s ability to come up with clever titles, but makes it easier to locate an article using a search engine, and also easier for the reader to know which articles to read.

One of the things I love about blogging is that no one can tell me what to write about, or how to write it. So sometimes I will use downstyle, and sometimes I will use classic titling.


Loren Christie said...

The LI Advance started using downstyle when my friend was Editor-in-Chief. He says that a paper can have its preferences as long the format is consistent throughout. I like downstyle.

Leticia said...

I do too, it takes the mystery out of which words to capitalize. I'll miss the clever titles, though, they're so fun!

Barb, sfo said...

I was Headline Editor for my high-school newspaper and will miss the clever titles. It was a lot of fun thinking them up! That said, I know I mix in downstyle and "whatever" when I'm blogging. Blogger's license?