The Times is starting to annoy me. The newspaper has thrown me several times recently by the way it now uses titles when an inside page continues an article that started on the back page. Here’s a recent example. On 20 June 2022, the back page (page 64) reported on a rugby union match between England and the Barbarians. The headline was: Jones suffers heaviest loss in Barbarian rout. The back page contains the first 3 paragraphs and the beginning of the 4th, breaking in mid-sentence. There follows the statement: Continued on page 62
The story then continues (mid-sentence!) on page 62 under the new headline:
Jones: Back-heeled kick was fine by me, the game’s about fun.
continued from back
Why did this throw me?
I expect an article to keep the same headline throughout, even if the article continues on a different page. But their new style seems to be to invent a new headline for the rest of the article, rather than keep the original headline.
I find this particularly disorienting because I often only skim the headlines on the back page, especially if an article (or part of an article) on that page doesn’t contain much content. But then often when I get to the rest of the article, I start reading it in more detail—as indeed in this case. I might then want to back-track to read the beginning, but finding the start takes time because it seems to be talking about something else.
In this particular case, there was a brief reference to the ‘back-heeled kick’ in the portion of the article on the back page. There was more detail in the rest of the article on the inside page. But the new headline chosen for the inside page wasn’t the most helpful. It didn’t link the inside page to the back page. And it didn’t serve as a guide to the content of the portion on the inside page.
That’s enough now
The Times keeps doing this to me. I think it should stop.
Background on rugby union
Eddie Jones is the head coach of the national rugby union team for England.
The Barbarians is an invitation team that plays occasional exhibition matches, picking prominent players who do not normally play together or train together.
In this match, one of the Barbarian players was playing the final match of his professional career. He does not normally take kicks and is not known for having any kicking ability. Nevertheless, in this match he scored points for his team by taking 3 ‘conversion’ kicks successfully. As added humiliation for the England team, one of the successful kicks was a back heel, rather than a conventional kick.