Now, a book for harried sub-editors
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Now, a book for harried sub-editors

Sunil Saxena's book Heading Writing offers tips on writing effective headlines for different mediums.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 13:18 IST

Harried sub-editors now have some help at hand to make their task of coming up with attention grabbing headlines a little easier - a new book that offers tips and imparts skills.

Heading Writing by Sunil Saxena gives practical tips on how to write a headline, the different kinds of headlines, headlines for the Internet, feature and magazine headlines, do's and don'ts and the 25 "golden rules".

Saxena, who has 28 years of experience as a print and Internet journalist and was the first Dean of the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, says headline writing is "a craft that can be learnt".

He says: "The importance of a headline for a news item hardly needs to be emphasised. It is perhaps the single most important factor that draws the reader's attention to the story."

Published by Sage, New Delhi, the 210-page book is priced at Rs390 and comes from the vice president for content and services of Chennai-based Express Network Pvt Ltd, the Internet company of the New Indian Express group.

Saxena's text is peppered with examples from mainstream Indian newspapers.

He starts with an October 1924 edition of the Hindustan Times that had a headline that read Gandhiji Breaks Fast.

He also compares headlines in The Hindu on the end of British colonialism in India in 1947.

Saxena covers almost all aspects of headlines. He points out that there are three parameters that decide the point size of headline - headline width, importance of the story, and its relative importance on the page as a whole.

He enumerates seven steps on how to write a headline - decide news point, display, point size and style and the number of decks, identify keywords, write the first headline, and polish it.

First Published: Jun 01, 2006 13:18 IST