You have now read A Modest Proposal and seen Henry V.
In this task we pretend that these two texts have enfolded in real life.
You work at a tabloid and decide to write the tabloid sensation news piece about the events depicted in the play, or essay. More examples here.
- Create a dramatic and interesting headline
- Explain the most important (dramatic) thing that happened. Go for the shock!
The best-known tabloid headline in journalism history used alliteration to play with words in reporting a murder: ”Headless Body in Topless Bar.” If you can think of a clever, in-your-face way to use alliteration or rhyme in your headline, all the better; generally, keep it short, punchy, witty and breezy. Tabloid headlines can take liberties that traditional journalism wouldn’t touch. Consider the Daily News headline after a speech by president Gerald R. Ford: ”FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” The president did not use those exact words, but [even the staid New York Times allows] ( http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/28/nyregion/28veto.html) that the headline captured ”arguably the essence of his remarks.”
In traditional journalism, the police arrested a criminal. In a tabloid story of the same event, the cops busted a thug. Tabloid stories are written in a conversational, informal style, using simple, vivid everyday language. ”Straight” news writers strive for an objective tone; in a tabloid story, the writer’s use of adjectives, wordplay and personalized detail often leave the reader with little doubt about his feelings. The goal of tabloid style is to make the reader feel, whether disgusted, elated, outraged or amused.
Tabloid Story Structure
A good tabloid lead sentence summarizes the story right up front in a way that’s designed to maximize shock value. Pull the reader in and don’t let go; sentences and paragraphs are typically short and to the point. Rather than the common inverted pyramid structure of a standard news story, in which the less important information is often in the concluding paragraphs, a tabloid story should circle around and restate the essence of the lead, often adding one more telling or ironic detail for a dramatic grand finale.