“When was the last time you saw such a headline?” R Rajagopal, editor of The Telegraph, asked a hall full of college students last month. “Let us see how the headline works here: first the sledgehammer blow. Then the tug at the heartstrings.”
As part of his guest address at St Berchmans College, Changanassery in Kerala, Rajagopal circulated copies of the front page of the last edition The Warroad Pioneer, the 121-year-old community paper of Minnesota that closed down recently, and asked the students to roll the headline off their tongues: Final Edition/How Lucky To Have Known Something So Hard To Say Goodbye To.
“No pronoun. No names at all. No places. No figures.… Great headlines transcend clerical details. They soar beyond time and geography,” announced the editor.