Newspaper headline creates a powerful meaning and interpretation of the whole article. This collection of words sums up the entire story and represents in totality the equally significant lead. A headline intrigues and awakens or grabs a reader’s interest. At the same time, it reinforces the intellectual aspect of the reading public through the rational and logical contentment gained when a reader successfully understands a newspaper headline. A story headline strengthens one’s sense of belonging to his or her community in two ways: first, through the references to one’s own society and nation; and second, through stereotyped representations of other countries and citizens.
News organizations on the internet generally aim to post headlines on the website that will attract and leave an impact to search engine crawlers and internet visitors as much as the regular printed news readers. For this purpose, two negatively-toned or presented news headlines of the same story can have different interpretations and effects on the readers. Such examples are that of the news about the comment of President Bush on the alleged establishment and expansion of U.S. bases in Africa. These are the news from the MSNBC website under the headline: “Bush: U.S. wont build new Africa bases” and the other news article from the Aljazeera website carrying the headline: “Bush denies Africa expansion plan” (MSNBC, 2008 & Aljazeera, 2008).
The MSNBC and Aljazeera news headlines were both stated in a negative manner. The former headline (from MSNBC) was presented as an obvious direct quote, apparently coming straight from the U.S. President. The second headline, on the other hand, appears to have been delivered by a second source, not by President Bush himself. The headline by the Aljazeera news implies that denial is the usual and standard official statement from the White House and not a strong affirmation that the U.S. will definitely not build bases and expand their military power in Africa.
Aljazeera. (2008, February 20). Bush denies Africa expansion plan. Retrieved February 21, 2008, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23252017/
MSNBC. (2008, February 20). Bush: U.S. won’t build new Africa bases. President dismisses talk of more military bases on continent as ‘baloney’. Retrieved February 21, 2008, from http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1D97988F-6FFB-4BD0-8C43- C3F8420F79B1.htm.