Tricks to Attract the Reader

A story's title deserves care, as it may be the only contact with the news

To get the reader's attention, the editor exposed more ferociously what the author just suggested. This cannot be done at the expense of adhering to the call to the content of the text.

The words used in the title are almost all in the text but have been recombined into a much more impressive result. And what is not in the article is even more explosive. At no time is it said that Beyoncé "needs to understand" something.

More than attracting the attention of readers, the title and subtitle led to controversy.

All of this happened without the author's consent, who said that she did not suggest the title nor was consulted about it before publication - demonstrating a failure in Folha's controls.

The editor is the professional who refines the text, making it more attractive. Among numerous activities, you can, according to the Writing Manual, make changes to condense the content or improve the text as long as they are submitted for approval by the author.

The title is how the newspaper mediates between the author and the reader. It can dictate the success or failure of a text, to the point that there are tools available today that allow the newspaper to quickly assess, between two title options, which one leads to more reading.

Sometimes, this effort to attract the reader is made based on tricks for hunting clicks, such as an omission or an addition to the text - in a kind of promise of something that will not be delivered. It could be that, without the strong call, the article would not have reached so many readers.

According to one reader, "Lilia may have been unhappy in 25% of her article, but Folha's recurring sensationalism is agonizing. Whoever has to reflect is not just the author, you too". From a technical-journalistic point of view, Ilustrada boosted the title and made a mistake.
The case sheds light on a newspaper process that needs to be improved: governance in the editing and the rights of those who write for Folha. If a sloppy intervention used to last for the newspaper to be discarded, today the internet can perpetuate it.

In addition, I hope that the debate has broadened, including the expansion of sources consulted by the newspaper. As for the content of the article, I am left with a comment from a good-natured young Internet user: "My love against racism is even worth leopard and crystals."

Flavia Lima

Reporter specializing in economics, she graduated in social sciences from USP and in law from Mackenzie. She has been the ombudsman at Folha since May 2019.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon