Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Boo, headline writers, boo!

Since I’m sure there's lots of serious analysis of the Conservative sacking of Canada’s nuclear watchdog, Linda Keen, out there in blogland (to read why it's evil, click here or read why its brilliant, click here) I thought I’d take a more lighthearted approach and look at how the nation’s headline writers are handling the big news.

After all, as a journalist let me assure you, this is a story sure to warm a headline writer’s cold, tiny heart. There are so many ways you could go, such as:

Cons go nuclear

Harper nukes watchdog

A Conservative meltdown

Nuclear scandal goes critical

Keen plots counterstrike

Analysis: Mutually assured destruction

And many more. I think you get the idea. A good headline writer might even work in a reference to Matthew Broderick’s War Games…Stephen, what is the primary goal? The excellent made for TV movie The Day After would also work for inspiration, although probably not until Thursday, so there's still about The Chalk River Syndrome?

But that’s why I was disappointed, as I took a look around the various news sites, at the lack of creativity exhibited by the nation’s headline writers. Take, for example, the major dailies:

Globe and Mail
: Head of nuclear watchdog fired
National Post
: Ottawa fires nuclear watchdog

The broadcasters:

: Nuclear safety watchdog head fired for 'lack of leadership': minister
: Government fires head of nuclear safety commission (since changed)

The wire services:

: Government fires head of Nuclear Safety Commission over Chalk River shutdown
Canada Fires Nuclear Safety Chief Amid Dispute With Minister
: Canada sacks nuclear watchdog over reactor closure

And just for fun, the Iranian press, no strangers to issues nuclear:

Press TV
: Canada sacks nuclear watchdog head

Well, that was pretty boring, wasn’t it?

I’ll give partial credit to the good folks at Sun Media, who I was counting on to really nail this one. At the Sun it’s all about the headlines, after all. They gave it a crack, and came pretty close, I just think it reads a tad awkwardly:

: Tories fire nuke watchdog boss

Hopefully they’ll get it write for the print edition tomorrow morning; I’m counting on you Toronto Sun.

Anyway, I think the CRTC needs to take stronger action against the concentration of media ownership in this country than they did the other day, otherwise this lame headline trend will only worsen.

I decided to award two honourable mentions for these headlines as, while they did show creativity, they were written before the Keen firing.

Star: Political behaviour goes nuclear
Sun: Commons committee eyes nuclear exchange

See, you can do better nation's media outlets. Let's pick it up!

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JimBobby said...

Lunn: "I'se a dope."

What great white shark?

Isotope Rope-a-dope KO's Keen

Lunn Takes Page from Pervez's Book, Fires Judiciary

The truth? Lunn can't handle the truth.

900ft Jesus said...

there were a few this morning:

Political behaviour goes nuclear
Toronto Star, Jan. 17

Nuclear fallout scorches Lunn: Opposition MPs censure minister for firing president of watchdog
Times Columnist (Victoria), Jan. 17

Gary Lunn's nuclear meltdown
Ottawa Citizen, Jan. 17
(my personal favourite)

Harper's nuclear fallout
National Post, Jan. 17

Jeff said...

I guess they were paying attention...and they say blogs can't make the word a better place... lol