The task of a headline is to grab the attention of a cursory and selective reading viewer, to address him and to direct him to the following text. Headlines and headings help the reader to choose what interests him and what does not. Research has shown that twice as many readers read the title of an article as the article itself.
For this purpose, it must stand out visibly, tailored to a similar or lively environment, and present its content briefly, understandably and concisely and not falsify the content of the article. A headline has to be catchy, catchy and understood at the same time. In order to generate more attention, a linguistic emphasis is often used.
Depending on the medium , area of application and target group , she uses different linguistic and stylistic means. In the advertising sector, she mostly operates with language forms that increase attention and underline the core message, such as alienation, jokes or puns. In addition, there is a reference to innovations, the promise of problem solutions and benefits.
In the journalistic area, the headline summarizes or interprets the content of an article below it, especially in the case of comments or in the features section . Here, but also in the advertising , the headline is increasingly of a some years sub-headline or top line or bottom line accompanied that complement the headline content or enhance stylistically. Two main questions need to be answered in one headline, Who? and what?. The biggest headline on the front page is always the Aufmachers .
In addition to their message, headlines have an impact primarily through their design, the choice of font , font size and font color. In magazines, brochures and in advertising, the function of this typographically controlled appearance is large and often linked to the interaction with images. In tabloid magazines, the headlines are mostly scandalous, emotionally processed and printed in large, colorful letters. In newspapers, headlines help readers orientate themselves about the content and decide which content to read. This is why the headlines differ only slightly in terms of style, font, style and size. However, there are also differences here: The newspaper with the large letters is an almost proverbial example, also when it comes to purchasing decisions at the kiosk.
- Simone Hoffmeister: Headline . In: Gert Ueding (ed.): Historical dictionary of rhetoric . Darmstadt: WBG 1992ff., Vol. 10 (2011), Col. 1132–1142.
- Claudia Mast (Ed.): ABC of Journalism. A guide for editorial work . Constance: UVK 1998, ISBN 3-89669-239-9 .
- Eckart Klaus Roloff: crime scene headline. Journalistic sins in newspaper headlines. In: text + writing, No. 4/1981.
- Barbara Sandig: Syntactic Typology of the Headline. Possibilities and limits of the language economy in newspaper German (= Linguistic Series , 6). Hueber, Munich 1971.
- Wolf Schneider , Detlef Esslinger (Hrsg.): The heading . 4th edition. Econ-Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-430-20021-9 .