Don’t use ‘reportedly,’ do love this holiday-themed headline


A well-written Halloween-themed headline takes the win this week. That, and a tip worth repeating …

Thing to know this week
Stop using the word “reportedly.” It tells your reader pretty much nothing. Merriam-Webster defines it as “according to report.” Google gives us “According to what some say.”

This level of vagueness is never acceptable by Thunderdome’s standards. If you attribute a piece of information to someone else’s work, clearly cite it and link to it.

Headline winner
You’ll never believe how much Halloween candy Americans eat - by Kelly Metz

Other contenders
The government has a hard time figuring out who is and isn’t dead by Patrick Hogan
Sleep with your favorite rock star at Oslo hotel by Dan Lewis
She lived through every little girl’s worst nightmare by Jason Fields
See great gift ideas gone horribly wrong by Beth Davidz

Join the discussion
How do you feel about this week’s tip on “reportedly?” What other vague words are often used in headlines that we should rethink? Let us know in the comments.

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