5 clichés that journalists love

Tired of reporters and editors criticizing your lazy writing? Well, they’re not perfect, either.

I’m sure you have your least-favorite journalism clichés. I encourage you to share those. Here are five that I abhor:

1. Headlines that begin, “The Curious Case of …”

Since the Brad Pitt movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was released in 2008, this headline has served as a crutch for headline writers. A major problem is that it tells the reader nothing about what’s probably an interesting human-interest piece.

Sports writers are the worst offenders. A quick Google News search of “Curious Case of” yields the following headlines, to name a few:

“The Curious Case of Chris Duhon”
“The Curious Case of Chuck Hayes”
“The Curious Case of Maxime Talbot”
“The Curious Case of UCLA’s Draft Prospects”

2. The economy as a qualifier

There was a period that began in 2008 and petered out toward the beginning of 2010 in which every business story had some form of the phrase, “In these tough economic times …”

As times have changed, so has the cliché. Now, we’re seeing, “As the economy begins to show signs of life…” pop up in all its splendor.

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