Field Notes: Público Words

The words used in Público is rather straightforward (I am going by the english translation, so my apologies if I’m a little off-base). The headlines don’t tend to use metaphors or other types of wordplay. The hard news sections tell it exactly how it is. The more feature-driven sections get a little more creative with headlines. Decks are used occasionally to further summarize the articles.

The headlines on Público’s front page are usually always summaries. The main story on the page will usually consist of a deck highlighting some of the points in the article as well. On other pages, the headlines range from summary with decks to long and winding. I have yet to see an instance of a hammer. The general voice of the headlines is pretty professional, and seems to be aiming at the masses.

Pull quotes usually only appear in the long feature stories. They are never placed in with hard news or business. This may primarily be because of their style. They are definitely more creative and stand out in the section. This is good for a longer piece where the pull quotes can summarize further, but in the news section they would distract from the story.

I’ve only seen about two cutlines in the Público issues I’ve looked at. There are never any real captions for the news stories. The headlines themselves seem to explain the photos enough as it is (the photos tend not to be very elaborate). When I have seen a caption, it’s mainly just pulled out a part of the larger story, or summarized what is happening in the photo.

Labels are the same from day to day. They simply state the section name and not much more.

Bylines are placed at the start of the story with the author’s name. There is no title. Cutlines tend to only be placed with larger feature images. The photographers name is placed alone on one side, top or bottom of the photo. A lot of photos have no credit at all.

The section departments use very generic names. There isn’t much to interpret from them at all.

In general, Público tends to be a more straightforward news publication. Though there is a lack of creativity in word usage, it helps make the publication more readable and caters to a larger audience.