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By Akash Shukla
Headlines are important tools as newspapers reproduce knowledge, ideologies, public consensus. They sometimes challenge dominant discourses by maintaining their independence and autonomous agency. (Conslavo, 1998, Kelner, 1995, Louw, 2001, MacDonald, 2003, Piacrd & Broody, 2000, Seedat, 1999, p. 340 as cited in MacRitchie and Seedat, 2008).
While a news piece has an introduction, body and conclusion, headline, strangely, is the introduction even before a story is introduced. Headline as a pre-introduction arrests a reader’s floating attention and hauls it with a wordplay lasso before his/her attention may meander to something more interesting; perhaps a cuisine story or soul curry for that matter. Good versus bad headers is a tricky affair. Sample this…
Headline 1: INDIA INDEPENDENT: BRITISH RULE ENDS (source: HT)
Headline 2: BIRTH OF INDIA’S FREEDOM (source: TOI)
Headline 3: FREE INDIA IS BORN (source: The Hindu)
Headline 4: INDIA WAKES TO LIFE & FREEDOM (source: The Tribune)
In headlines (1), (2), & (3), the variation could easily be determined by the varied news treatment of various newspapers to the same context of India’s Independence. All of these headlines appeared as the banner headlines on the cover page (page 1) of the three newspapers respectively.
The use of words in all capitals reflects on the utmost significance delegated to the news of Independence, which clearly separates it with the other news items of lesser significance on the page. While headline (1) is more direct and penetrating, like a bullet for the reader, headlines (2), (3) and (4) are metaphorical and literary in their approach. In headline (2), the stress is on the word ‘BIRTH’ as it is in the subject position while headline (3) has laid its primary focus on the word ‘FREE INDIA’ by placing it in the subject position. However, headline (4) digresses from (2) and (3) and strays into violation of linguistic rules of syntax and grammar by employing ‘&’ instead of ‘and’.
Though use of symbols are a violation by formal standards of English and its use is strictly to be avoided in the body text, yet the volition is seldom permitted in headlines to tackle space-crunch problems and to avoid the risk of a headline running into the next deck.
Why is a headline strong? They impact the reader with certain linguistic features that make them particularly memorable and effective. This is achieved through the use of puns and alliteration. Wordplay catches the eye more than anything else.
STRONG HEADLINE (5): 9 dead, 30 injured after train derails in Maharashtra
WEAK HEADLINE (6): Train derailment between Nagothane and Roha near Mumbai
STRONG HEADLINE (7): Goods train derails at Ukshi; Konkan route affected
WEAK HEADLINE (8): Death on wheels: Commuter anger rises over Mumbai’s local trains
The aforementioned headlines have been categorically demarcated as strong and weak on the basis of language use, subject-object position, directness of words, aptness, content load and overload and wordiness. All the headers (5), (6), (7) and (8) are written in a context of train derailment in Maharashtra. The writer endeavours to bring out the story theme through directness (headline 5); on other occasions, he chooses to dramatise the idea for a wider audience (headline 8).
Headlines (5) and (7) are to-the-point apt headers. They speak of the accident and about the injured count while headlines (6) and (8) are long and drawy. They employ use of long words like ‘derailment’ and ‘Nagothane’. It is possible to use ‘derail’ instead of ‘derailment’ so use of the latter is tantamount to redundancy.
In an attempt to enhance the impact of the accident in header (8), a story slug ‘death on wheels’ has been used and it speaks of commuters’ anger over local trains and its performance. The headline for a hard news should essentially conform to the norm of directness in approach e.g. Death on wheels: Commuter anger rises over Mumbai’s local trains Commuters’ ire over Mumbai trains .
It is in no way being argued that there is anything wrong with the original headline. However, a trainee reporter can learn much by adhering to the law of compactness in a headline before expanding it.
Let us understand how the headline of a hard news is different from a soft news and how both of them contrastively move away from the domains of columns and features. Observe the tenacity of headlines moving from high to low in the following examples:
9.) Hard news Header: Chennai blasts: Jayalalithaa snubs Centre, refuses its
10.) Soft news Header: Can new govt stage renewal energy revolution? (TOI)
11.) Feature Header: Country’s women need more power: model Sonalika
12.) Column Header: Don’t shoot the messenger (Third Eye by Barkha Dutt, HT)
13.) Blog Header: Sameer Arshad: Wounds fester in Kashmir, democracy has
not healed them (TOI)
How is a hard-news headline different from its soft-news counterpart? While the former hits on the immediacy of the situation, the latter can experiment deeper with language as the shelf life of a soft news is always more than that of a hard news.
A soft-news headline can be analyzed over a couple of days before it is finally produced for Print or Broadcast media. Since a hard news cannot be held back due to its inevitable immediacy, its headline treatment is always the most impactful and intense among all the other types (Read Hard News example 9). The example 10 on soft news stated above reveals one more language disturbance; it depicts the use of short forms. Structures like ‘govt’ are used to represent full words like government. Many such examples are incessantly used in Indian Print and Electronic media. Some of the most popular ones are ‘NaMo’ for Narendra Modi, ‘Sush’ for Sushmita Sen, ‘IT’ for Information Technology, ‘I-T’ for Income Tax, ‘Cong’ for Congress, ‘Jaya’ for Jayalalithaa, Guj for Gujarat, ‘GenNext’ for Generation Next, and LU stands for Lucknow University.
Representations like Sush for Sushmita Sen are backward formations in accordance with the morphological rules. All abbreviations, acronyms, word blends and backward formations stem out of Morphology (study of words); their basic object is to save space and avoid repetition that leads to redundancies.
The case with features, columns and blogs is no different. With more time at hand, these columns, blogs, and features witness multiple layers of analysis and therefore the headlines can vary in their news peg to a great extent. They verge on the analysis factor and their headers fortify this cause.
Apart from hard-news headlines, the headers have a changeable nature that can make peace with all the important aspects factored in the story or they could turn out to be as purely creative endeavors. Have a look at the creative, inventive and the innovative shades in the following headlines from newspapers and magazines:
14.) City’s petition for tracks gets a running chance (TOI)
15.) Mangoes have a ‘pest’ering problem (HT)
16.) RISE OF THE NAVEL (INDIA TODAY cover)
(Bollywood makes it fashionable to slim and bare it)
17.) THE BOOBY TRAP (INDIA TODAY cover)
(Women want them perfect. Men want less flab. Breast surgery is the new rage.)
All the aforementioned headers (14), (15), (16), and (17) reflect word play of different sorts. Header (14) matches ‘track’ with ‘running choice’ as in literal sense trains and engines run on tracks so petition here gets a ‘running chance’ instead of a static one.
Headline (15) speaks of mangoes suffering from problems of aphids (a bug that destroys the groves), therefore, pest has been put in single quotes to isolate it from the term pestering to create an outstanding effect on mangoes. While headers (16) and (17) are cover-page headlines from a well-known Indian magazine, they reflect changing trends by dramatizing the naval and the breasts of the women of contemporary era.
The word ‘booby trap’ here does not mean police dragnet it actually is going by the slang connotation for a woman’s bosom. The editor has linguistically played upon two characteristics of language fundamentally; language is arbitrary and it is polysemous in nature. The magazine discourse is hegemonic in nature as it is setting trends.
By Prerana Agarwal Saxena
In all the wedding excitement, it's easy to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment. While everyone is making their big fat Indian wedding dreams come true, they are also adding their carbon footprint and undue energy consumption. Modern couples are now looking for ways to have a wedding with a sustainably conscious mindset. It's become about incorporating less waste, locally sourced and seasonal food, natural materials over the use of plastic. Mindful wedding planning and decor includes the use of recycled paper and goods along with eco-friendly venue needs. Check out this quick guide to achieve a sustainably conscious wedding without compromising on luxury:
Choose locally sourced material to uplift artisans
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. With the use of locally sourced materials and local artisans coming into play, the wedding instantly becomes sustainable. Include the work of local vendors ensure minimal packaging requirements, thus saving on unnecessary plastic and lamination. It also decreases the need for transporting elements from other cities and hence lowers the carbon footprint. For instance, at one of our weddings, we made use of sand art for a setup in Jodhpur. This helped promote local work while also being environmentally friendly with zero wastage of other materials. In another instance from Rajasthan, the traditional glass-blown technique was used to build decor items while giving a cultural touch to the destination wedding.
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. | Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash
Say yes to recycling
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. It can be a small step such as making a conscious switch from plastic water bottles to copper jugs or glass bottles. Also use artificial floral decor thus minimising the wastage produced from real flowers. This recyclable decor is then donated to various NGOs, further ensuring sustainable use of resources. Such steps, however small they might be, keep the environment free from the release of any additional carbon footprint.
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. | Photo by Ravin Rau on Unsplash
Go for zero-waste wedding decor
Make use of fabric as it enhances the elegance of the wedding while being sustainable. Include vibrant colours apt to the theme of the wedding and bring in bright sprightliness with breathable fabrics. Ensure to include LED lights for lighting. They can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. They also help conserve energy and bring in soulful energy for nighttime decor. Choose virtual invitations, keeping up with the digital times. Make a conscious choice of plated dinner menus rather than a buffet as they allow less wastage of food and ensure enough food for guests in attendance.
LEDs can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Include Sustainable Gifting
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. Offering a plant or a succulent, is a great idea. One can also gift recycled organic fabrics and cutlery or zero-waste kitchen and bathroom essentials to use in their homes as some distinct gifting options.
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. | Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
Acting in the best interest of the environment and the society, Theme Weavers Designs has started a social cause, Weaving Hope, where a part of their earnings along with food and decor are donated to social communities. Royal Rendezvous, is an event started by us to put India on the Global Map, inviting international wedding planners to India to experience the rich culture and heritage, also employing and displaying the work of local artisans to this international audience.
By applying the values of sustainability, you can reduce the energy consumed and the resources used as much as possible. Go ahead and have a luxurious zero-waste wedding and navigate into the world of green living! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Luxurious , Gift, sustainable, wedding favours, gifts that grow. Gifting, recycling, locally sourced, material. zero-waste
The Tamil Nadu health department has administered 16,43,879 lakh doses of vaccine in the second mega vaccination camp organised by it. The state public health department in a statement on Sunday said that this has taken the total vaccination to one crore since the beginning of September till date. The vaccination was administered from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. and the compiled data was made available late at night.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. Regular vaccination will resume after the vaccine supplies arrive from New Delhi, officials said. The state health department had expected to vaccinate 15 lakh people on Sunday in 18,824 centres spread across primary health centres, anganwadis, noon meal centres, government hospitals, schools and some auditoriums.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. | Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash
Of the 16,43,879 people who were inoculated, a total of 10,85,097 received their first dose and 5,58,782 their second dose of vaccine, the statement said, A total of 9,66,568 people in the age group of 18-44 were vaccinated on Sunday and vaccines were administered on 5,02,578 people aged between 45- 59 in the mega vaccine camps.
State health minister Ma Subramanian, who inaugurated the vaccination at Pollachi, also visited the centres in six districts -- Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Dharmapuri and Salem. The state government, according to the health minister, is to receive the next allotment of vaccines on September 21. Minister while speaking to IANS said, "We will be receiving the next allotment of vaccines on September 21 itself and we will resume vaccinations immediately. The state has already touched one crore vaccine-mark in the month of September till date." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: COVID, vaccine, vaccination camp, Tamil Nadu, India, vaccinated, mega camp
Festivals are just around the corner and while you brainstorm about OOTDs (outfit of the day), don't forget the right makeup. Hanisha Kapoor, COO, ArchiesBeauty.com shares makeup trends experimented by these Bollywood divas throughout 2021 for inspiration. While some stuck to the classics, others mixed it up... take a look:
The Classic Red Lip
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. The right way to achieve this celebrity look is to focus on accentuating your lips and keeping the rest of the face minimal. Give your lips a good scrub to plump them, moisturize and follow it up with a red lip liner to define the shape of your lips. Now go on with the perfect shade of red and finish your look with a slick of eyeliner, minimal concealer, and foundation.
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. | Photo by Ina Garbé on Unsplash
No Makeup Look
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look. This natural beauty does a wonderful job of achieving the minimal soft look by softly cover any dark spots or blemishes and highlighting features she's most proud of. To achieve this start with concealer and use small dots to brighten your darker areas like under eye, corner of the nose or upper lip, and any visible spots, and set it up with loose powder. Apply a soft pink lipstick, light blush, and mascara.
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look | Wikimedia Commons
This look shouts pink. When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. Everyone should try a rosy look once in a while. As we are focusing on only one shade, this look is pretty easy to achieve. Bring out your favourite pink lipstick, favourite pink blush, and a matching shade of eye shadow. Start with the base - concealer, and foundation and set it up with loose powder. Follow it up with eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Remember to draw a line by not using any pink mascara, eyeliner, or a bold shade of lipstick, as this is meant to be soft on the eyes.
When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. | Wikimedia Commons
Glass Skin Makeup
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. This look is slightly complex with an equal focus on skin before makeup, so slather on those moisturizing serums and creams to prep your skin first. Start with a highlighting primer, keep your foundation and concealer minimal to avoid looking cakey. Follow it up with soft blush & nude lips and lots and lots of highlighter. Use the highlighter on the main points of your face, like upper cheekbones, the centre of the forehead, the tip of the nose, cupid bone, and chin. If you are feeling a bit extra, don't hesitate to put some on your shoulders and collar bones. This celebrity makeup look makes your skin glow without the need for a spotlight.
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. | Photo by 邱 严 on Unsplash
Pop It Up
Put a zing to your party look with the pop of funky colour. This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. This works with your eye makeup while keeping the rest of the face minimal. Start with the base - concealer, apply a bit extra on your eyelids to make the colour pop. Don't mind going the extra mile and colour blocking your eyes with complementary colours on eyelids and under the eye. Apply nude lipstick and a soft blush to balance your look.
This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. | Pixabay
(Article originally published by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Celebrity, makeup, Deepika, Jhanavi, Korean, Red Lipstick, Glass Makeup, Pop makeup