Workers, Internal Memos Reveal Why Southwest Melted Down During Cold Snap
The above headline conveys the message, but things do not melt down during a cold snap, they freeze. Writing headlines is the journalistic equivalent of a time out. If somehow a person has obtained a job in a news organization and can’t do anything, he’s assigned to write headlines. It’s like being a deputy assistant dean at a medical school.
This important point may be lost to online generations, but in the Analog Age, when most major cities had three or more daily newspapers, reporters who submitted articles to an editor had no control over the headline it would be given. Below the headline, most newspapers had sub-headlines of decreasing size to attract the reader to the body of the article. As with the headline, reporters had no control over these sub-headlines.