114. So, what are headlines for?
Newspaper and article headlines were born as a means to summarise the content of the article, allowing readers to make a judgement, when prioritising, as to what to read. They were a significant innovation, as they allowed newspapers to be read in a different way to books, and thus spread their usefulness beyond the dilettante classes who had the time to read the whole thing. As a result, newspaper reading became, over time, a mainstream activity. Headlines have evolved, however. At some point, they became marketing means to get readers to select your article or pick your newspaper. Tools to cloud your judgement, getting you to read what each media producer wants, not what you would otherwise select. I am not sure who to blame (or credit) or when this happened, although I imagine it was contemporaneous with the incorporation of behavioural psychology to marketing in other industries in the 70s. But, nowadays, the headline mainly tells me what I will not be able to find in the article
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