The only reason I wrote the above headline was to link to this column, by Gene Weingarten, in Sunday’s Washington Post, bemoaning what the Internet has done to newsmaking. (It is worth noting that the Washington Post still publishes Weingarten on Sunday, but now waits till Monday to publish major investigative scoops for the online traffic.) As Weingarten, channeling a bit of Andy Rooney, explains:
My biggest beef with the New Newsroom, though, is what has happened to headlines. In old newsrooms, headline writing was considered an art. . . . Newspapers still have headlines, of course, but they don’t seem to strive for greatness or to risk flopping anymore, because editors know that when the stories arrive on the Web, even the best headlines will be changed to something dull but utilitarian.
So, worries Weingarten, a fine headline in the paper version of The Post about Conan O’Brien leaving the Tonight Show–”Better Never Than Late”–becomes online “Conan O’Brien won’t give up ‘Tonight Show’ time slot to make room for Jay Leno.”
And instead of putting a straight headline above, I have tortured your afternoon-reading mind with an unappealing assertion that is entirely fictional. Read the entire column here.