Minds On

What are headlines?

Have you ever examined the title of a newspaper article or news broadcast and then been surprised about what the article or broadcast was about? The title of a newspaper article or a news broadcast is what we call a headline. Some headlines are deliberately misleading to attract a larger audience. Explore the following misleading headlines and the accompanying article summaries. Think of headlines that would be more accurate.

Purpose of a headline

The purpose of a headline is to quickly attract a target audience and get them interested in the newspaper article or news broadcast.

What makes a good headline?

  • Short: a good headline is short and to the point.
  • Truthful: a good headline should indicate what the article is about.
  • Bold: a good headline should catch the attention of the target audience.

Action

Analyzing two headlines

Examine two of these news broadcasts closely. Be prepared to answer the questions that follow them.

Access “TVOKNews April 3–Olympic Jedi Masters” to find out about Olympic Jedi Masters.

Access “TVOKNews April 3–Bridge Collapse” to find out about a bridge collapsing.

Access “TVOKNews–Dinosaur Footprints” to find out about Scottish dinosaur footprints.

Access “TVOK News–Week of March 6–Pt.2” to find out about docking the Dragon vehicle onto the International Space Station.

Consider the following questions for both of the news broadcasts you examined. What is the purpose of the news broadcasts? Do you believe the headlines are misleading? Complete the News Headline Worksheet in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document. You may also record your work using an audio clip or another method of your choice.

News Headline Worksheet
Sample #1
Who is the target audience? How do you know?
What is the purpose?
Is the headline misleading? Why or why not?
Sample #2
Who is the target audience? How do you know?
What is the purpose?
Is the headline misleading? Why or why not?

Press the ‘Activity’ button to access the News Headline Worksheet.

Finding a misleading headline

Find two headlines in a news article or a news broadcast, one that you believe is accurate and the other that you believe is misleading. Identify the target audience, the purpose, and why you believe the headlines are accurate or misleading. Complete the Finding a Misleading Headline Worksheet in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document. You may also record your work using an audio clip or another method of your choice.

Finding a Misleading Headline Worksheet
Sample #1
Who is the target audience?
What is the purpose?
Why is the headline misleading?
A more accurate headline for this article:
Sample #2
Who is the target audience?
What is the purpose?
Why is the headline misleading?
A more accurate headline for this article:

Press the ‘Activity’ button to access the Finding a Misleading Headline Worksheet.

Consolidation

Creating your own headlines

It's your turn to create your own headline! Think of a possible news story then create a misleading and accurate headline. You can record your ideas in an audio recording or using the following organizer. Who is your target audience? What conclusions could a reader draw from the headlines? Complete the Creating Your Own Headlines Worksheet in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document.

Creating Your Own Headlines Worksheet
Headline #1 (misleading) Headline #2 (accurate)
Article

Press the ‘Activity’ button to access the Creating Your Own Headlines Worksheet.

Reflecting

Thinking about how our learning helps us to become more independent media interpreters and creators. How does knowing about misleading headlines help you to interpret media? Why is it important to think critically when you interact with media texts? How might your views be shaped by media?

Reflect on your learning and respond to the following question:

How does knowing about misleading headlines help me to interpret media?

Complete the Reflecting on Misleading Headlines in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document.

Reflecting on Misleading Headlines
How does knowing about misleading headlines help me to interpret media?

Press the ‘Activity’ button to access the Reflecting on Misleading Headlines.

Reflection

How do you feel about what you have learned in this activity?  Which of the next four sentences best matches how you are feeling about your learning? Press the button that is beside this sentence.

I feel...

Now, record your ideas about your feelings using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.