The headache of a headline

Posted by Laura

‘Madonna and child’ headlines have been doing the rounds for several days now. Her motives have been questioned, the adoption procedures highlighted as wavered, and the press have been clamouring for a glimpse of the boy who, for this week at least, is the most famous baby on the planet.

So when it came to our report on the furore surrounding Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s custody of David Banda, we wanted to reflect the depth of the debate, a subject which shows no signs of abating just yet, especially if the reports the megastar now wants to adopt a girl from Malawi are to be believed.

The obvious aforementioned ‘Madonna and child’ headline, which several of the papers opted for when the story first broke, was no longer an option. In itself that headline was so textbook in its genius simplicity it almost seems probable the news story was created specifically with the pun in mind. But we weren’t so lucky to have such a luxury land in our laps.

I’m not sure how much I should reveal about the inner workings of the well-oiled MSN Homepage machine, but I’m willing to risk shattering any illusions you may have had about hard-nosed hacks, plastic coffee-cups clenched in fists, throwing around headline ideas in dingy, smoke-filled rooms.

This week has been what all journalists loathe: a slow news time. Here at Homepage Towers – a four-strong desk in a sea of many that populate our office in Soho – we were stumped by the Madonna headline. Each of us assumed pensive poses and set our minds to work. Several skyward glances, momentary lapses in consciousness and motivational trips to the water fridge later, and we were still none the wiser. More than 25 minutes passed before we actually decided on the simple, yet all encompassing, ‘A small boy, a megastar and a huge global debate’. But, truth be told, it could’ve just as easily been, ‘A headline, a collective headache, and 30 minutes of our lives we’ll never get back’.

This block in the flow of creative juices is symptomatic of what is happening, or rather what isn’t happening, in the realms of news at present. One could even argue that if it were a slightly more eventful week, Madonna’s motives would never have attracted such widespread global attention in the first place. Would she really have accumulated so many column inches in such a short space of time? Would we ourselves have even been covering the story in such depth? We think it was the right decision to feature the story today because, as our messageboards showed, inter-country adoption is something that’s got the nation talking. Let us know if you agree or disagree with our decision.

Looking at the papers and television this week, the slow news problem is afflicting us all. Evidence that the malaise has spread is everywhere. The BBC is desperately pursuing a quest to save post offices, which is traditionally the preserve of the local press, and the Times’s front page is proclaiming, Armageddon-style, ‘The end of cod’.

So what are we to do? Resign ourselves to yet more painstaking hours of headline brainstorming or, rather, brainstumbling? No. We’re taking matters into our own hands. If there’s no news to spur our minds back into action, we’re going to ask you to come up with your own headlines around the minor trifles and happenings in your lives today. In fact, if you can make an interesting headline out of even the most insignificant event then all the better.

There’s no real prize to offer at the end, apart from the obvious respect and admiration from us, but we will round up the best efforts and report back with the ones that brought that little spark of humour back to our bloggers’ inbox. Email us your words. However, if it takes four of you longer than 25 minutes to come up with something, you’re best advised to cut your losses.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The headache of a headline

  1. Paul says:

    No doubt this is written by a bunch of anti English racists thinking that knocking England some how enhances their own nationalism. Perhaps one day they will learn that all nationalism is not only dangerous but Neanderthal and it falls down to "our tribe is better than yours". Is there any hope when nationalism is spreading throughout the world and few people willing to oppose it.

  2. says:

    100117SLCHFAt least, he is claiming that he is kids north face down jackets forbidden it by bishop thomas tobin of the providence diocese, and bishop tobin hasn’t mens north face down jackets denied it – and tobin has denied that he’s ordered priest under his authority to actually deny kennedy the sacrament. bishop tobin’s office has also released a letter indicating that the bishop has chastised mens north face down vest the congressman on the subject of abortion since mens north face jackets at least 2007; which will call mens north face trousers into question the accuracy of kennedy’s accusation womens north face jackets that this is all about the church’s firm line on abortion funding. it’s probably a factor, and it’s certainly true that rep. kennedy has been obdurate in his heresy* for some time,so this is merely the latest salvo.

  3. Unknown says:

    100219SLLAH Stray birds of summer come to my uggs classic cardy window to sing and fly away. and yellow leaves of autumn, which have no songs, flutter and fall there with a ugg classic tall boots sign. the mighty desert is burning for the love of a bladeof grass who shakes her head and laughs and flies away. Dictionaries ugg bailey button boots are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite.Not by ugg classic short sale constraint or severity shall you have access to true wisdom, but by abandonment, and childlike mirthfulness.The people who get ugg ultra tall boots sale on in this world are the people who get up and look for ugg classic mini boots they want, and if they.Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by ugg sundance cheap; and studies themselves do give forth direction too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s