I’VE BEEN IN the newspaper business for more than 50 years. In all that time, I don’t remember this idea ever being suggested.
Here’s a note from Daniel Richardson, Publisher at the Carroll County News-Leader in Huntingdon, TN:
Good evening Ed,
Just wrapping up another issue of the News-Leader and thinking to myself: are all these “locals” necessary?
Our headlines read “Local teen killed”, “Local man charged with rape,” or “Local woman receives award.”
Are all these “locals” necessary in our headlines? We’re a community paper. We don’t publish articles from people in other areas being killed, charged with rape, receiving awards, etc. It seems all the “local” talk is redundant, like listing “, Tenn.” after all our local towns in articles.
So I think I’m going to start leaving the “local” part out of the headlines in my local paper. If the story happens to be about someone from outside the area that effects our readers, I’ll specify “California man charged with local crime”. Like the states after the cities, I’ll note the state if it’s somewhere else, if no state is given, Tenn. is understood. If no foreign identity of the headline subject is given, “local” should be understood.
Am I wrong?
Speaking for myself, no, I don’t think you’re wrong at all. Your idea actually makes a lot of sense. I’m going to put this in front of others as I do workshops and seminars and get their reaction.
How about the rest of you hint readers? What are your thoughts? Please email me with your comments/questions on this and I’ll post them here. Send a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can’t reply here—yet—but we’ll be adding that capability with our web site upgrade, coming soon.