Journ. 133: Prof. Craig: Headline Exercise, Part 1

Headline Exercise, Part 1
For this exercise you will choose ANY FIVE of the stories listed below, and provide the following for each:
  • Five to 10 key words about the topic that could be included in a headline
  • A suggestion for one or more standard headlines
  • A suggestion for one or more creative headlines

  • You will be placed into groups to create these, and we will reconvene in a few minutes to discuss them.  Please save these into a document -- you'll need them for the second part of the headline assignment. 


    1. Organizers of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics have outlined new guidelines and COVID-19 safety procedures for the prestigious torch relay event beginning next week.

      On Tuesday, members of the Olympic organizing committee said in a news conference that spectators will be allowed to watch the upcoming torch relay as long as they follow specific COVID-19 rules, according to the Associated Press.

      The 121-day relay, which is set to begin on March 25 from Japan's Fukushima prefecture, kicks off the countdown to the official Games, which start on July 23 after being postponed from last year due to the pandemic.

      Spectators at the relay, which links all 47 Japanese prefectures, will be required to social distance, wear masks and cheer quietly to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the outlet.


    3. BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Fire crews with the National Park Service have been igniting controlled fires in the Florida Everglades to control an invasive vine that’s been wreaking havoc on the native ecosystem.

      The plant, called Lygodium Microphyllum - and also known as Old World Climbing Fern - is a stealthy and invasive plant that was likely introduced as decorative vegetation but made its way into the Everglades in 1999.

      While many may think of the invasive Burmese python as a great threat to wildlife, scientists like Dr. Ellen Lake with the USDA Invasive Plant Research Lab in Davie say Lygodium could be more dangerous.

      “This is a monster,” Lake said. “It can grow 40 to 60 feet long and it just outcompetes everything in its path.”

      It can shade out vegetation, and according to the website for the University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: “Dense growth of the plant can also be a fire hazard, frequently enabling small ground fires to reach into tree canopies where it can kill the growing branches.”


    5. An online survey has revealed that some people experiencing long-haul COVID-19 say their symptoms disappeared after getting vaccinated.

      Just over one day after getting her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Arianna Eisenberg, who experienced fatigue, insomnia, brian fog and muscle pain for eight months, said her lingering symptoms were gone.

      "I really felt back to myself, to a way that I didn't think was possible when I was really sick," Ms. Eisenberg, a 34-year-old therapist in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, told the Washington Post.

      Survivor Corps, an online group of people with long COVID-19 symptoms, conducted an informal member survey that showed 216 people felt no different after vaccination, while 171 said their conditions improved and 63 said they felt worse. Little research has been officially published on the subject.

      Researchers suspect symptoms subsiding after vaccination could be due to a number of reasons. The placebo effect could be one simple explanation. Another theory suggests the COVID-19 vaccine could be prompting the immune system to rid the body of any virus it's still harboring, similar to what happens with the virus responsible for chickenpox and shingles.


    7. TAMPA, Fla. — The University of South Florida will hold its first in-person graduation ceremony since December 2019 at the end of this school year.

      University officials announced Monday the school would return to in-person commencement ceremonies this spring. Due to coronavirus concerns, graduation ceremonies were held virtually throughout all of 2020.

      The spring commencement ceremonies are tentatively scheduled for May 7 through May 9. They will be held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. 

      “Holding ceremonies in a venue the size of Tropicana Field allows USF to accommodate the approximately 7,000 students expected to earn a degree from USF this spring and provide space for some family members to attend,” university officials said in a news release.

      According to a letter sent to members of the USF community, the spring commencement ceremonies will look different. Students will not cross the stage or have their names announced during the ceremony “to mitigate the risk of viral transmission.” In addition, doctoral students will not be hooded during the ceremony. They will instead wear their hoods throughout the event.

    9. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Cafes across several Gulf Arab states started selling coffee and other cold drinks in baby bottles this month, kicking off a new trend that has elicited excitement, confusion — and backlash.

      The fad began at Einstein Cafe, a slick dessert chain with branches across the region, from Dubai to Kuwait to Bahrain. Instead of ordinary paper cups, the cafe, inspired by pictures of trendy-looking bottles shared on social media, decided to serve its thick milky drinks in plastic baby bottles.

      The unprecedented fervor over the feeding bottles came as a bit of a shock. All the stress and anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic appears to have spurred some to find an outlet in the strange new craze.

      Lines clogged Einstein stores across the Gulf. People of all ages streamed onto sidewalks, waiting for their chance to suck coffee and juice from a plastic bottle. Pictures of baby bottles filled with colorful kaleidoscopes of drinks drew thousands of likes on Instagram and ricocheted across the popular social media app TikTok. 

      Soon, however, online haters took note — the baby bottle drinkers and providers faced a barrage of nasty comments.

      Last week, the anger reached the highest levels of government. Dubai authorities cracked down. Inspection teams burst into cafes where the trend had taken off and handed out fines.

    11. PENSACOLA, Fla. — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested a mother and daughter accused of illegally accessing hundreds of student accounts to rig a vote and crown the teen daughter as her school's homecoming queen.

      Laura Rose Carroll, 50, and her daughter, 17, are charged with offense against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices; unlawful use of a two-way communication device; criminal use of personally identified information; and conspiracy to commit these offenses.

      The alleged scheme took place at Tate High School in Pensacola, where Carroll’s daughter was enrolled. Carroll worked as an assistant principal at an elementary school in the same district at the time.

      In October 2020, hundreds of votes for Tate High School’s Homecoming Court were tagged as fraudulent, with 117 votes originating from the same IP address linked to Carroll’s phone.

      Carroll’s daughter was still crowned homecoming queen, however, video and pictures online show.

      Multiple students later reported that Carroll’s daughter described using her mother’s access to Focus, the student information system, to cast votes from students’ accounts. 

    13. A great white shark was caught last week by a specialized fishing charter in Florida, which has video to prove it.

      The catch was documented in a YouTube video uploaded by Big John Shark Fishing Adventures, which is the only land-based fishing charter that’s focused on catching sharks in Pensacola.

      Retired professional hockey player John McLean Jr. led a group of seven Idaho fishermen on the evening charter, the video shows. The group traveled to the shores near Portofino Island to catch a shark, but it seems that none expected to catch a great white.

      According to KLEW, the CBS affiliated television station in Lewiston, Idaho, where the amateur shark hunters hail from, the group caught the great white shark last week and it took 40 minutes to reel in.

      McLean told the outlet that the shark was quickly released back into the water. Moreover, he said he was able to identify the shark as a great white based on its eyes and fin.

    15. When visitors are finally allowed to return to theme parks in California, they might find the roller coasters a little quieter.

      Among other changes, the California Attractions and Parks Association has recommended that there be no screaming on roller coasters and other rides as a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopen theme parks.

      The trade group is recommending that theme park visitors should "limit activities that are known to cause increased spread" like singing, shouting, heavy breathing and raising one's voice.

      It may seem like an odd request to make of riders who are going up and down, upside-down and sideways at high speeds. But intense vocal expressions may produce droplets that could spread the coronavirus.

      The advice was part of CAPA's "Responsible Reopening Plan," a list of best practices created in response to the state of California granting large theme parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios and Six Flags to reopen at reduced capacity beginning April 1.

      Along with the no-screaming recommendation, CAPA's "blueprint criteria" include face coverings, social distancing, limited capacity and optimizing ventilation in parks. 
On to Part 2 ->


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