Stuff Journalists Like – #212 Authoring Alliterative Articles

Journalists just jump for joy at the chance to run an alliterative headline. So much mention is made of the most… I’m sorry, but I can only take this so far.

I was going to try to write a completely alliterative column, but I’ll spare you the pain. Because, truth is, nobody loves alliteration as much as journalists do.

And they won’t apologize for it. You’ll just have to forgive them the occasional offense. They can’t help it. It’s natural to them. The fire burns in their blood.

They need an outlet for all of their quirkiest qualities: Extreme nerdiness, enthusiasm for grammar, a love of words and a penchant for torturing others with terrible jokes.

Here’s your assignment: Write a news round-up of the day’s top stories. 1) A flock of falcons has infested the city council building. 2) The weather today is overcast and grey. 3) An agriculture bill was proposed to the state legislature.

Headline: “Things to know today: fog, farms and falcons”

BOOM! The sense of accomplishment that follows a headline like that is almost as rewarding as the most scathing sarcasm or winning an AP style argument. Plus, an alliterative headline makes even the most boring news mildly interesting.

So, the next time you read “Councilman cracks budget code” or “Pawnee project: pit or park,” don’t groan, just smile.

Now, raise your hand if you went back and counted each time I used alliteration. Yeah, I thought so.

Rebecca Jones is a pseudo-journalist in community engagement for and The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. She enjoys bunnies, beer, brownies and Broadway. Tweet her your best alliteration at @BeckySJones.


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