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Stylistic Features of Headlines

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					    Unit 10
English of News
   Reporting
      (I)
                  I. Definition

 1) News is any event, idea or opinion that is
 timely, that interests or affects a large number of
 people in a community and that is capable of
 being understood by them.
2)News is the reporting of anything timely which
 has importance,use,or interest to a considerable
 number of persons in a publication audience.
3) If a dog bites a man, it is not news; if a man
 bites a dog, it's (big) news.
 Here is a practical “formula” for “What
    can be news”:
   ordinary people + ordinary thing≠news
   ordinary people + unordinary thing =
    news
   unordinary people + ordinary thing =
    news
   unordinary people + unordinary thing =
    big (good) news
               II. News Value


 timeliness / freshness
 importance / consequence /impact,
    significance
   prominence
   nearness / proximity / locality
   unusualness / bizarreness / oddity /
    novelty
   interest
              III. Classification
1. Quality papers
   (heavy papers/ serious papers/ the heavies/
 posh papers)
   e.g. The Times
        The Daily Telegraph
        The New York Times
        The Washington Post
   Popular papers
    (mass papers/ muck-raking papers/ tabloids /
 sport-and-scandal papers)
   e.g. The Daily Express / The Daily Mirror
 The Times is read by the people who run the
    country.
   The Guardian is read by the people who think
    they ought to run the country.
   The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people
    who run the country.
   The Financial Times is read by the people who
    own the country.
   The Daily Express is read by the people who
    think the country ought to be run as it used to be
    run.
2. According to the nature of news
   hard news /spot news/straight news
   soft news
3. According to the contents of the coverage
   political news
   economic news
   technological news
   cultural news
   sports news
   violence and crime news
   disaster news
   weather news
   obituary
   entertainment
 Front Page
 International
 National Report
 Obituaries
 Editorials, Op-Ed and Letters
 The Metro Section
 Business Day
 Sports Monday
 The Arts
               IV. News Style

 News
 Features: less time-sensitive than news
  articles, and may describe people, places, or
  events of general interest to the public.
 Editorials: are written for newspaper
  publication and present the writer's opinion
  on an issue of current public interest
               V. Organization

 The first paragraph is
  called the LEAD


 The rest of the story is
  called the BODY, which
  generally backs up the
  LEAD.


 And, finally, as with any
  good story, there should be
  a pithy ENDING.
Inverted Pyramid Format

        Lead


       More facts

       Background
       Quote

         Minor
         detail
      A Bomb Kills 8 Pakistanis, and It Is Seen as a
                            Warning
               (Published: November 2, 2008)
(1) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Eight paramilitary soldiers
     were killed and five were wounded Sunday morning
     when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-
     laden truck into a security checkpoint in the restive
     South Waziristan tribal region, officials said.
(2) Also on Sunday, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new
     chief of the Central Command, made his first visit to
     Pakistan for talks with top political and military
     leaders here. The relationship between Pakistan and
     the United States has worsened in recent weeks
     after a string of American strikes in Pakistan on
     militant hide-outs.
(3) General Petraeus, credited with turning around the
     war in Iraq, was accompanied by Richard A.
     Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South
     Asia. No details on their schedule were released.
(4) The truck bombing took place around 9:30 a.m.
     Sunday at a post near Fort Zalai, a base for the
     paramilitary Frontier Corps about 12 miles from
     Wana, South Waziristan’s capital.
(5) The attack, apparently retaliation for deadly missile
     strikes reported on Friday, may affect an agreement
     between militants and Pakistan’s government.
(6 ) “The attack could be a warning call to Islamabad
     from Maulvi Nazir,” said Arif Rafiq, a political analyst,
     referring to a local militant. Mr. Nazir, the Taliban’s
     top commander in South Waziristan, was reportedly
     the target of a missile strike from a remotely piloted
     aircraft on Friday.
(7)South Waziristan, on the Afghan border, is known
  as a stronghold for Taliban militants and
  sympathizers of Al Qaeda.
(8)On Sunday, The News, one of Pakistan’s leading
  English-language newspapers, reported that
  militants in South Waziristan had threatened to
  scrap a peace accord with the government if the
  United States did not halt air attacks against
  militant leaders.
(9)“Nazir feels vulnerable and wants to make clear to
  Islamabad that there will be deadly consequences
  from his side if the Pakistan military joins
  Washington in opposing him,” Mr. Rafiq said.
 The Chronological Account


                   LEAD


                   EVENTS
              IN SEQUENCE


              ADDITIONAL FACTS
 Lead-plus-equal-facts

              LEAD

            FACT 1


            FACT 2


            FACT 3
 The Suspended-interest Story

                    LEAD


                   STORY
                 DEVELOPED


                 STORY NEARS
                  CLIMAX


             THE STORY RELEASED
              VI. Headlines


(I) Types of Headlines
    * Banner / streamer
    * One-column-one-
      line head
    * Two-column-two-line
      head
                      Headlines
 Phrase
 e.g. Neet Generation
      Giving Credit Its Due
     Changing the Guard
 Incomplete Sentence
 e.g. Quality of Life a Priority for the Deathly Ill
     (= The Quality of Life Is a Priority for the Deathly
  Ill People)
 Whole-sentence headlines
 e.g. Don’t Play Games with People’s Pay
      When Will the Next Ice Age Begin?
      Mayday! Pilot Blacked Out! Drama In Real Life
       Stylistic Features of Headlines
1. Graphological features
 The keyline / the crossline
                 Pluto loses planet statue
 The flush-left head
           OPEC ministers
           agree to drop
           price of oil
 The indented head / dropline head
                   Centennial industries
                       purchases 150 acres
                          for Springdale plant
      Stylistic Features of Headlines
 The inverted pyramid form
          For Reagon Williamsburg was
               a political smash but an
                   economic fizzle
 The pyramid form
                      Maternity
                   wardrobe for
                  Working mums
 The centered form
                  A better way of
                       choosing
                  a nation’s chief
      Stylistic Features of Headlines
 2. Grammatical Features
 (1) Omission
 Omission of articles
     e.g. China Launches (a) Space Satellite
          (The) Army Secretary Defends His
  Sale of (the) Enron Stock
 Omission of verb be
     e.g. Cloning Technology (Is) Unlikely to
  Take Over the World
 Omission of auxiliary
     e.g. New policies (are) urged for aging
  population
    Stylistic Features of Headlines

 Omission of connectives
  e.g. US, Vietnam Resume Talks (= US
  and Vietnam Resume Talks)
 Omission of Personal Relative Pronouns
  e.g. Pakistan to open consulate in Shanghai
  ( = Pakistan will open its consulate in
  Shanghai)
                    Warm-up

    Please identify the tense and voice of the
    following headlines
   Bush Seeks Tax Cuts He Had Scorned
   Thames Approaching Danger Level
   A Proposal to Reduce US Troops in
    Germany
   Russia’s Richest Man Interrogated
      Stylistic Features of Headlines

(2) Tense and Voice
 The present tense is used instead of the
  present perfective and the past tense
  (Journalistic Present Tense)
   e.g. Circuit City Files for Bankruptcy
         China Eyes New Turf: South America
 Future happenings are often expressed with an
  infinitive
   e.g. Rain to Continue Through Tomorrow
        IMB to Get Payout from German Unit
       Stylistic Features of Headlines
 The present participle is used to express progressive
  present
  e.g. China Surpassing Japan In PCs, Internet Use
       Helping the homeless to Help Themselves
 The past participle without the auxiliary is used to
  refer to an action in passive voice
  e.g. Profound Effect on U.S. Economy Seen in War
  on Iraq
       Film Star Clint Eastwood Honored in Gala
  Tribute
 Active voice is more frequently used
      Stylistic Features of Headlines
3. Punctuation
 Comma is used instead of “and”
   e.g. Italy, France Top Winners at Cannes
 Dash is used to introduce the speaker
   e.g. Economy Grows Slowly As
  Unemployment, Inflation Rise —
  Economists
 Inverted comma is used instead of double
  quotation mark
   e.g. In Post-miracle Japan ‘New Religions’
  Thrive
    Stylistic Features of Headlines


 Colon is used to further explain or replace
  “be” or “say”
   e.g. Smoking: Top Killer of women
 Semi-colon links two different meanings
   e.g. Haitian School Toll Hits 90; Owner
  Arrested
      Stylistic Features of Headlines

(II) Lexical Features

 Heave use of short words
e.g. Bourse Eyes Big Tieups (eyes= watches /
  observes)
     Oil Cartel Decides to Cut Output (cut=
  reduce)
     Israel Downs Civilian Plane From Lebanon
  (down= shot down)
 ace: an adept or expert
 aim:, object, design, target, purpose, intention
 axe : reduce
 back : support
 ban : prohibition, interdict, restraint, restriction
 bar : prohibit, exclude
 bid : appeal; offer; attempt; proposal; endeavor
 blast: explosion
 chief: overseer, supervisor; governor, manager,
  commander
 coup: change in government
 crash: collision, accident
 curb: restraint
 deal: agreement , bargain , negotiation,
    transaction
   echo: response, reflection, reverberation
   envoy: messenger, ambassador,
    representative, delegate
   fake: counterfeit
   flop: failure
   gap : discrepancy, difference
   glut: oversupply
 job: task, enterprise, undertaking, mission,
    business
   key : essential, vital
   link : connection
   meet: assembly, convention, conference, counci
    congress
   nab: capture
   oust : push out, replace
   pack : treaty; compact, contract, convention,
    agreement, alliance
   plea: appeal, application, request, entreaty
 poll: public opinion survey
 probe : investigate
 rap: criticize, blame
 quit : leave, resign
 row: conflict, dispute, discord, argument,
    quarrel, difference,
   snag: unexpected difficulty
   swap: exchange
   talks: discussions
   tie: diplomatic relations
   try: attempt, effort, endeavor, experiment
   wed: marry
      Stylistic Features of Headlines
 Heavy use of abbreviations
 * Abbreviations of organizations or bodies
   e.g. WTO Head To meet APEC Ministers
    (APEC= Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation)
        Overseas Reporters For NPC & CPPCC
 Increase By 20%
    (NPC= National People’s Congress)
    (CPPCC= Chinese People’s Political Consultative
 Conference)
  * Abbreviations of Technical Terms
    e.g. PDA Firm To Enter New Mart
    (PDA= personal digital assistant 个人数字助理)
       Stylistic Features of Headlines
* Abbreviations of Countries, Occupations, Titles
   and Proper Names
   e.g. Thai P.M. Going On Trial Today
        (P.M. = Prime Minister)
         Can Obama Be the New FDR?
         (FDR =Franklin Delano Roosevelt )
         Prez Obama to Work With Key Bush Holdovers
         FM= Foreign Minister
         MP= Member of Parliament
* Heavy Use of Clipping Words
   e.g. Russian Nuclear Sub Accident Kills More Than 20
  (sub= submarine)
        Dems Push Paulson to Fund Big 3 Automakers
        (Dems= Democrats)
         SKILLFUL HEADLINING
1. ALLUSION
 All Work, Low Pay Makes Nurses Go away
 In Taiwan, a Scandal a Day Keeps the Blues
  Away
 A Tale of Two Hearts
 Of Mice and Men and Genome Maps
2. PUN
 Bush Goes Green on His Break: Golf,
  Economy, Fund-raising
 Men Recommended More Clubs for Wives
         SKILLFUL HEADLINING
3. ALLITERATION
 Britons Rejoice at Birth of Royal Boy
 Form Follows Feeling at the Milan Furniture
  Fair
 The Poison of Professional Politics
4. RHYME
 No Funny, No Money
 From Zero to Hero
 No Gain without Real Pain
                    Exercise
     eye / key / opt / loot / balks at / nod /
    snub / blasts / vow / ink / rocks / guts
1. Union refuses to accept court order ( )
2. MP criticizes democrats strongly ( )
3. Women’s groups watch court vote with interest
   ( )
4. Year’s biggest fire destroys 178 homes ( )
5. Thailand, Malaysia sign sea treaty ( )
6. Gov’t wins very important vote ( )
   eye / key / opt / loot / balks at / nod /
  snub / blasts / vow / ink / rocks / guts
7. Rioters take away stores goods unlawfully
  ( )
8. Minister seeks approval for oil saving plan
  ( )
9. Swiss choose to back tax for churches ( )
10. Gov’t report shocks stock market ( )
11. Protestants pay no attention to Ulster
  peace bid ( )
12. Police chief promises to catch kidnappers
  ( )
 Ex1: Match each of the following words from the
   headlines above with its meaning below
         chief, drama, reshuffle, gag, gems, swoop, poll,
   quit, seek, rig, haul
(a) jewels
(b) goods stolen in robbery or taken by police or customs
(c) to falsify
(d) director, high-ranking officer or official
(e) raid, to raid
(f) To look for, ask for, want
(g) to silence, censor, censorship
(h) exciting, dramatic event
(i) election, voting, public opinion survey
(j) to rearrange of senior jobs
(k) to resign, leave
 ‘Polls Rigged’ Charges
 Two Sought After Break-out Drama
 Cabinet Reshuffle Urged
 Service Chiefs Gagged: Two Quit
 Gems Haul Seized in Swoop
(a) Allegations have been made that election results
  were falsified
(b) Police raided a house today and took possession
  of jewelry stolen in a recent robbery
(c ) police are hunting two men who made a daring
  escape from prison by helicopter
(d) Senior officers of the armed forces have been
  instructed not to talk to the media and, as a result,
  two of them have resigned
(e) Strong appeals have been made to Prime
  Minister to make changes in his ministers
  English for
News Reporting
     (II)
                      Lead
 Lead refers to the first paragraph or first
    several paragraphs of the news report,
    consisting of the newest, most important, or
    the most attractive facts.
   5 Ws
   Features: succinct, informative, intriguing
   Direct lead: reveals immediately what the
    story is about.
   Delayed lead / Feature lead: usually sets a
    scene or evokes a mood with an incident,
    anecdote or example.
                    Lead
 Direct lead / Summary lead
e.g. Police Detain Owner of Collapsed Haiti
  School
  PETIONVILLE, Haiti (CNN) -- Authorities have
  detained the owner of a Haitian school that
  collapsed, killing at least 84 students.
  Meanwhile, rescue workers continue to comb
  through the rubble in search of survivors.
                    Lead
 e.g. China Move Spurs Equity, Commodity
 Gains
  LONDON (Reuters) - World stock and
 commodity markets surged on Monday in
 reaction to China's plan to spend nearly $600
 billion on stimulating its economy as G20
 finance ministers pledged to do what is needed
 to revive financial markets.
                    Lead

 The main fact lead
e.g. Island at risk from further tsunamis
     The Indonesian island of Sumatra remains
  at grave risk of large earthquakes and
  tsunamis, according to research indicating
  that recent disasters in the region have made
  further devastating seismic activity more
  likely. (The Times)
   Delayed / Feature lead

 Quotation lead
 Descriptive lead
 Contrast lead
 Suspense lead
 Direct address lead
     Delayed / Feature lead
 Quotation Lead
 e.g. 75 Years Later, a Nation Hopes for Another
 F.D.R.
     “We are facing the greatest economic challenge of
 our lifetime, and we’re going to have to act swiftly to
 resolve it.”
     So said Barack Obama on Friday in his first
 postelection news conference, a pretty good sign that
 the president-elect had been brushing up on his
 presidential history. Seventy-five years ago, the last
 time the country was this close to economic abyss,
 Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his famous inaugural,
 the one where he uttered those immortal words, “The
 only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
 --- (New York Times)
   Delayed / Feature lead

 •Descriptive Lead

e.g. A few hundred fans are standing and
  shouting at a blur of heavily padded young
  men in helmets and shorts. Their sneakers
  squeal on the cracked concrete floor as a
  ball is flung with rocketlike force between
  long sticks topped with tiny nets. Bodies
  slam into the boards, bare knees grind into
  the ground.
Contrast Lead
    e.g. For millions of fans, he will
     always be Superman. But to
     countless others, he will be
     regarded forever as a real-life
     hero, battling for medical
     advancements in treating spinal
     cord injuries with the hope of
     enabling himself and others to
     walk again.
Suspense Lead


e.g. After lunch, the students just couldn’t
  wait for Harry Porter and his close friends to
  show up at Hogwatts, the most famous
  school in the world.
       But don’t get too excited, it was just
  another version of the popular book,
  directed and performed by the students
  themselves.
Direct Address Lead


e.g. You may eat the “unnatural thing” every
  day but you are unaware of it. Read the
  label on foodstuff after March 20 and you
  will know it: This food contains genetically
  modified (GM) organisms.
  Stylistic Features of News Reporting

(I) Lexical Features
1. Preference for journalistic words and set
 expressions
e.g. It is dramatically (melodramatically,
 sensationally) announced…
e.g. Democratic leaders in the House and the
 Senate struck a harsh tone against the
 administration after giving Mr. Bush strong
 support in his antiterrorism effort since Sept. 11.
e.g. … according to official sources, speaking
 to the Associated Press on condition of
 anonymity.
   Stylistic Features of News Reporting
2. Verbalization of noun
     access / advantage / author / bus / chair / craft /
     dialogue / fault / gift / headquarter / jet / liaison
    parent / network
     accessorize / finalize / institutionalize / utilize
3. Wide use of neologisms
(1) Words with extended meaning
    e.g. Khomeini’s curious blend of mysticism and
    activism still made him slightly suspect in the eyes of
    the Islamic Establishment --- as a holy man who
    tried to run around with the Mob, one might say ---
    but his following was growing steadily.
  Stylistic Features of News Reporting
 (2) New words
    e.g. bed-in / camp-in / dial-in / lock-in /
  sign-in/ teach-in / wed-in / work-in
     Leaders of demonstrators accused the
  government of trying to hinder the teach-in by
  hastily organizing pop concerts.
 e.g. infotainment
 e.g. irritainment: Entertainment and media
  spectacles that are annoying, but you find
  yourself unable to stop watching them. e.g.
  Professional wresting.
  Stylistic Features of News Reporting

 Glocolization: globalization + localization
   Taikonaut: an astronaut from People’s
    Republic of China
   Starter Marriage: A short-lived first marriage
    that ends in divorce with no kids, no property
    and no regrets.
(3) Vogue words (buzzword):
 e.g. Obamabot : A person who supports
 Obama and is willing to vote for him but doesn't
 know a thing about him.
 Stylistic Features of News Reporting
(4) New prefixes or suffixes
    e.g. Anti-corruption and keeping a clean
 government remain a major task in the coming years,
 the Premier stressed.
    e.g. In other words, asked the questioner, Yamani
 was saying “that if we had such an overall settlement,
 we would be much better off oilwise?”
    e.g. cybercommunity
         cyberspeak
         webcasting
         webzine
         netfile
 Stylistic Features of News Reporting

(5) Nonce words and coinages
A “nonce-word” is one that is constructed
to serve a need of the moment
e.g. She can be Miss Something-or-other.
(nominal group)
 e.g. It was a do-anything-to-keep-your-life
situation. (verbal group)
 e.g. the up-to-the-minute report (prepositional
group)
 e.g. She gives me an I-know-it-all look.

				
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