India Uncut

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

On straps, and enterprising NRIs

A strap, in journalistic parlance, is the line that comes below a headline and above a story, that sets out in brief what the story is about, and expands on the headline. The headline attracts the reader's attention; the strap then closes the sale and leads him to the piece. It is also sometimes called a one-liner.

For an example of a good, functional strap/one-liner, click here. The headline says, "Stop here for books". Enough to draw a curious glance from the reader. The strap says: "An NRI librarian abandons hope of Punjab ever setting up public libraries. He starts a lending library in a bus that makes weekly trips to villages."

Good strap. And a terrific story about a gentleman named Dr Jaswant Singh, who is starting a chain of mobile libraries in the villages of Punjab so that kids have a place where they can read some books. This is the kind of private initiative that can have greater effect than many government plans to start libraries – if any exist. Now if only they made it as easy to start schools.
amit varma, 11:13 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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