Sunday, December 8, 2013

Should the Headline Spotlight Your Summary or Your Scoop?

On Friday, the Post published its results of a big investigation. The headline: “FBI’s Search for ‘Mo,’ Suspect in Bomb Threats, Highlights Use of Malware for Surveillance.” That night, Gizmodo summarized the scoop in a short blog post titled, “FBI Can Secretly Turn on Laptop Cameras Without the Indicator Light.”

The differences speak for themselves:

Headline
FBI’s Search for “Mo,” Suspect in Bomb Threats, Highlights Use of Malware for Surveillance
FBI Can Secretly Turn on Laptop Cameras Without the Indicator Light
Publication
The Washington Post
Gizmodo
Authors
2
1
Words
1,987
193
Comments
173
577
Views
*
297,624

* While I wasn’t able to obtain this datum—the Post’s PR team (@WashPostPR) told me, “Unfortunately, we don’t share numbers like that publicly”—we can extrapolate from the comments comparison that it’s less than 300,000.