Headline news isn’t always the most important story of the day, sometimes it’s a little bit of magic created by a sub. When I was studying my Postgrad in Newspaper Journalism back in 2001 we did an exercise on headline writing, and were given this genius example from The Sun’s Scottish football coverage the year before: ‘Super Caley go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious’. Pretty hard to beat for wordplay, but today the Metro got close, with their take on the latest Nigella vs Saatchi debacle, ‘The Great British Baked Toff’.
Whilst I don’t entirely agree with the news agenda today (never mind Syrian peace talks and Scottish devolution and celebrity child sex scandals, Nigella sells papers. And naughty Nigella will sell even more) deciding what goes on the front page isn’t the sub’s job. The sub’s job is to make that news eye-catching, memorable, and sometimes pithy and entertaining. Job done.