All you gotta do is write in a straight line

From what I can see in (the first few pages of) last week’s issue, there’s a template for headlines in New Media Age. It lets the writers build attention-underwhelming wordinesses using a construction of “business verbs noun (typically an optional preposition and noun phrase)”:

IAB turns to Gates (in order) to convince big brands…
Viacom offers iTV ads across network
Abbey increases online spend
Egg assigns £1m (sic) to online in new…
3 adds ‘Lost’ previews in relaunch for…
Be Unlimited unveils 24Mbps broadband

There are only four exceptions in the first three pages (containing seventeen headlines in total). Such a structure was presumably originally meant to let the reader know they’re encountering straight, factual reportage with little speculation or comment, but in the end it’s an excuse not to read any of the content. Egg adds iTV adds to relaunch. Be Unlimited offers £1m. Viacom turns to ‘Lost’ previews to convince big brands.

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