Bits from here and there

Was Trump’s Twitter action unconstitutional?
Guidelines to headlines
EPPY awards entries now being accepted
Poynter helps create training program for college journalists
NMA introduces Digital Metrics Platform


9 tips for writing stronger headlines

Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. Here are nine ways to write engaging, accurate headlines for any platform.

Be specific, not vague. Draw readers in because your headline is compelling. Don’t waste readers’ time by asking them to keep reading to see what the story is really about. And if your five to 10 words give away too much of the story, it’s not much of a story anyway. On a related note: It’s great to invoke curiosity, but don’t mislead or overpromise. Accuracy and credibility count every time, with every story. [Full story: Poynter/Vicki Krueger]

Trump blocked some people from his Twitter account. Is that unconstitutional?

… Normally, a user blocking another on Twitter is no big deal. It happens every day. Some might consider it petty but nobody tries to make a lofty constitutional issue out of it.

But Trump is the president. And just Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump’s tweets are “considered official statements by the president of the United States.” And since his account, like others, provides the opportunity for a response, some think that would make it a kind of public forum.

If that’s the case, some think Trump’s blocking of users is a violation the First Amendment, the equivalent of the government kicking citizens out of a public square or town hall meeting because it doesn’t like their political viewpoints.

That may be a stretch, in part, because the Twitter account is Trump’s personal account. [Full story: The Washington Post/Travis M. Andrews]

Editor & Publisher now accepting EPPY Awards entries

For more than 20 years, Editor & Publisher has been honoring the best media-affiliated websites across 30 categories with the EPPY Awards. Additionally, the EPPY Awards recognize excellence in college and university journalism with awards being given in three different categories. The deadline to enter is August 25. To view the categories and enter, click here.

News Media Alliance Introduces Newspaper Digital Metrics Platform

The News Media Alliance has announced the launch of its new metrics tool for members, metricsXchange. The data analytics platform, created in collaboration with Mather Economics, allows real-time comparison between markets and publications. The platform was designed specifically for the publishing industry and connects advertising revenue and site data by user and content. Learn more here.

Poynter, Koch Foundation create training program for college journalists

The Poynter Institute and the Charles Koch Foundation are creating a program to provide training to student journalists and to encourage campus media to support and promote civil discourse around controversial topics. The program, named the Poynter College Media Project, combines in-person training, online teaching and a campus project with two goals: improving student journalism and modeling dialogue through coverage and real-life events. 

For more information and to apply, go to

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