By Nathan DiCamillo
In the past issue of The Glimmer Glass, the headline “Broadway Revue puts you to sleep” caused some to laugh and some to steam. Although I didn’t write the headline, I did approve of it.
The headline wasn’t written out of rudeness or flippantness. It was written intentionally as a play on words to attract readers to the content below it—the main purpose of headline writing.
But I understand why some, particularly those who were in Broadway Revue, would see this as bad press. This is a student newspaper and our anti-intellectual generation is known for just skimming headlines. This is where journalistic discernment comes into play.
Last year, the Glimmer Glass published an editorial about what the then editorial staff considered an abuse of power: girls in grand being fined for not making their beds. The editorial was written with very charged (and convincing) language.
“Having the focus of an RA’s job on fining residents for unmade beds makes them no better than glorified rent-a-cops,” according to the editorial.
This is where my discernment differs from the editorial team of last year’s newspaper. Former Executive Editor Nicole Lafond and the other editors at the time were and still are some of my best friends. Still, I disagree with how the story was written.
The editorial’s content was already charged. It didn’t need to escalate to an if-then statement involving the phrase “glorified rent-a-cops.” There I felt that while their point was valid, they lost their audience in the midst of charged language.
The Broadway Revue headline was a case in which my journalistic discernment understood that there would be those who read it and read no further, but that the headline would cause more people to read the content than not. In this case, the number of readers reading the content is increased. If those who just skim headlines are not interested enough to see why “Broadway Revue puts you to sleep” (answer: because the theme was “In Your Dreams,” and that’s a play on words) then they are probably not going to be interested enough to attend Broadway Revue.
That being said, I don’t know why anyone would not have been interested in Broadway Revue. The performance was riveting. I am not a fan of musicals, but I was a fan of Broadway Revue.
Even if the headline wasn’t satirical, critique is something that all actors have to deal with. Critique is not rude. Critique is professional. But a critical headline without a critique to back it up is nonsensical. It would make us seem lazy. That it is why an article praising Broadway Revue wasn’t needed. The press itself was good press. It described it as “[o]ne of Olivet’s fall favorites” and the photos were of key points in the play.
Nonetheless, the most important part of this paper is students. This paper listens to the student body. I cannot empirically measure the effect that the headline had on Broadway Revue, but I do want to hear about what each of you thought when you read it. Most importantly, I want to hear from those who were in Broadway Revue or went to Broadway Revue.
Send a letter to the editor: email@example.com. This is the best way of you getting involved in this issue because then your voice can be published in the paper. If you’re shy, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what you think, because my opinion is worthless unless I hold it in light of yours.