Creative Technologies Of The Header Complex In The Media Text


Our research is devoted to creative ways of information transfer in modern creolized media text. We pay special attention to newspaper texts, as in the last twenty years in connection with a turning to visual and multimedia workers of periodical press, on the one hand, are forced to seek new ways of winning the target audience to the emerging online publications, Internet resources and numerous electronic media did not deprive them of the reader, and, on the other hand, the rapid development of visualization tools and infographics allows traditional print media to compete at a high level in the market of mass media. Modern creolized media text widely uses several types of communication: writing or verbality, image or visual and gesture as one of the elements of the image. The target audience is gradually turning from a consumer of media products into a full-fledged participant, becoming a "provider of journalism". In a creolized multimedia text, its elements can interact with each other in different ways, either complementing each other or forming a certain hierarchy. The headline complex, quite clearly structured, provides the reader with the freedom to choose different elements, media to get acquainted with the information, suggests different models of reading. The header complex along with the text of the article not only saves time searching for interesting information, but also is a kind of Navigator that helps you choose what you need only.

Keywords: Creolized media textheader complexvisualverbal


For many years the print media has been strongly committed to the traditional design of its products. As a rule, to the recipient, one to two times a week there was a newspaper consisting almost entirely of verbal texts, couched in a familiar and easily recognizable font. All the content is usually "hiding" there, the man was forced to read the article from beginning to end to learn the news. However, in the early 90-ies of the last century, there is such a thing as "visualization" and "visual journalism." Its essence lies in an attempt to organize information in such a way that it constitutes a single coherent stream of words and images.

Visualization is a response to the needs of consumers in a particular method of data collection. It is in the header complex, in our view, the potential of visualization tools is more pronounced. In the header complex today not only advertised or advertised basic information but presented the quintessence of all content in general. And this can be done using different header parts of the complex, and the skill of the journalist in this case is the skillful, creative balance of verbal and visual means of expression.

Problem Statement

The objective of the study is to analyze all opportunities cotextual information.

Research Questions

The author focused on such research questions as the ratio of verbal and visual means of navigation in the header complex, the correlation of the individual elements of the complex with each other and with the text as a whole.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this work is to study creolized media texts in the modern press of Germany and Russia and to identify those creative technologies that are used by journalists to attract the attention of the target audience and provide the reader with news information without immersion directly into the text of the material.

Research Methods

The author uses both theoretical and empirical research methods, namely, the points of view of domestic and foreign scientists on the issues of interest are analyzed and compared, as well as the observation and evaluation of the periodic Russian and German press.

To understand this, we will try in the example of the national press in Germany, namely on the issues of the magazine "Spiegel" and the Russian newspaper "Arguments and facts". Visualization is not only a way to make content understanding as easy as possible, but also a means of protecting information from overloading (Nefedeva, 2013). Visualization is a new type of thinking, the so-called clip perception of messages. The perception of the chain of the header complex corresponds to the principles of clip-on thinking. As you know, the header complex is not a monolithic structure in its structure, but breaks up into a title, a sub-title, a photo-illustration, a signature to it, and a lead to an article or an introduction. And if the structure of the header complex is not homogeneous, then it works on the generation of one meaning, which should not be discordant with the general meaning of the publication material. The peculiarity of the header complex is that it presents information in batches, and if one structural element of the complex speaks about one thing and the other about a completely different one, then there is a danger of either misunderstanding or manipulating the opinion of the target audience.

Publicistic material is inherent in a certain structural and compositional form, which can manifest in each specific case certain features. The newspaper article, like any text, consists, as a rule, of the introduction, the main part and the conclusion. Heading, subtitle, section headings or headings, lead along with the ending are the most important structural elements of the journalistic text. The first thing that the reader meets when he opens a magazine or a newspaper is the title. Capabilities of the header are limited by the size frames. In practice, it is difficult to find a version combining both informativeness and attractiveness. This dilemma is mitigated often by the fact that the title is almost never worth one ̶ it is accompanied by a string from above or below. In the domestic journalistic practice they speak about the header complex, that is, about the combination of the title, subheading and sometimes the names of the headings. The header complex does not overload the header but focus on the performance of the contact function by shifting the informative function to a subtitle. If a heading is also introduced, then it takes care of informing about the topic, allowing the subheading to focus on the idea, on what output is offered from the problem situation. When writing a header complex, you need to ensure that its elements do not repeat the same words and do not duplicate each other. Domestic researchers, for example, Kolesnichenko (2008) subdivides the headings in the form into nominative and predicative. A nominal heading is an incomplete sentence, usually a phrase from two nouns or a noun and an adjective. This header usually contains an assessment of the news and is accompanied by a subtitle ̶ a common sentence that spells out its essence.

This type of heading is most typical for the Russian press, for example: AiFof 05.07.2016 “Attack of clones. Guide to the Chinese automotive industry”, “Soviet traffic cop. Special signs”, “The parasites in the law”. “5 stories of Russian idlers”, “Crimea, etiquette and sport scandals”. A predicative heading is, on the contrary, a complete sentence, which can, as a subheading, also act independently. As a rule, it is used in short news, while nominative ̶ in larger materials. For example: AiF of 06/07/2016 “Vikings choose freedom. Why does not Iceland want to join the European Union?” “The European Parliament supported the project of creating a single border control” “Scientists found out that they killed dinosaurs”.

The headline, as German researchers believe, is always a saying, and a saying needs verbs. Good is the headline, which is a full sentence, even when the verb is only implied. For example, the magazine Spiegel, dated August 8, 2018: “Über den Wolken. So schlecht benehmen sich Menschen im Flugzeug picture alliance” “Deutsche Post. Was sie tun können, wennihr Paket nicht ankommt” “Werbremst, gewinnt”.

Intra-textual / interline headings or section titles also have undoubted structural meaning, since they have a certain optical appeal for the recipient and, thus, make it read further. When there is such an optical "beacon" in the text, a person reads at least to him. The newspaper designer Küpper (1998) believes that the availability of section titles is one of the main conditions for the success of the material in the target audience. For one hundred percent success, according to Küpper (1989), a good illustration is needed, a well-articulated title and an interesting topic. It must be assumed that any text, if it is, of course, not extremely short, will only benefit from the availability of section titles. They facilitate not only the substantive division, but also the structuring of the article. Therefore, it is not all the same whether the names of the sections are located ̶ if they stand where they need, they can be read in interrelation and inform the reader about the course of thought.

Immediately after the title and subtitle, the reader refers to the photograph. If the topic of the material is old and boring, the photo should tell the reader something new (Coleman, 1998). As a rule, the illustration for the article is chosen last, but this is practically the first thing the reader meets. The journalist should take care that the photo has a direct bearing on the article. Attractive signatures / comments to illustrations serve this purpose. Häuserman (2011) calls them "legends". Sometimes the combination of photo + photo-legend makes a strong competition to the article itself. If the photo-legend is not perceived immediately, then it does not reach its goal, that is, does not cause interest to the article, does not motivate to read (Fedorova, 2013). In order for the photo-legend to be successful, it should not only be meaningfully understandable, but also attractively formulated. Häusermann (2011) says that almost every photo needs a photo-legend, but if it is missing, then, as such, the heading is perceived. In this regard, it is especially important to remember that there should be no contradiction between the photo, the photo-legend and the title, for example, the title can not point "in the opposite direction" than the photo-legend. Otherwise, there are difficulties in understanding, which can lead to refusal to read the article. The illustration should be irreplaceable, only this material should be approached, the same applies to the photo's signature. Photo-legend is designed to answer the questions touched in the illustration. As a rule, the first question about the people pictured in the picture - they should be named, it should be clear where they are and what they are doing. People in a concrete context are much more attractive than skillfully, but artificially made materials in a photo studio. The photo must be dated and have a clear connection with the article. This facilitates the formulation of photo-legends and an introduction to the text through illustration. Each photo ideally illustrates only part of the information, and the photo-legend calls this part, verbalizes it. Of great importance are the facial expressions and gestures of the protagonists of the photo, that is, the body language, which can also give the reader a lot of new and interesting information, which, perhaps, is not even verbalized by the author. The researchers devoted a lot of work to the study of the body language, and the main thing that we managed to find out is that we all perceive the body signals, but no signal is perceived in the same way. So, for example, if the photo shows a person holding their hands to their throats, then in the Arab environment this will mean that the person pictured intends to strangle someone, that is, in New Guinea it is a sign of a suicide, in Italy, such a symbol means " everything, I'm sick of it! ", in South America, the hand at the throat will be understood as a sign of imprisonment, and in North America it is a bad sign, for example, in sports, and the diver thus will say about the lack of air. Thus, in order to interpret the body language, one must not only know the meaning of gestures, but also the national subtleties, as well as the specific context in which they were used.

In the opinion of Russian photojournalists, for example, Nikitin (1999), the "photo + text" complex is an optimal, capacious and efficient way of conveying information. The signature to the photo performs a number of important functions: it explains to the reader the meaning of the message embedded in the picture, decodes the image and gives the only correct interpretation of the photo. The image is perceived simultaneously on an emotionally-unconscious level, the audience is inclined to believe it more than a word. Domestic journalism widely uses photo archives, considering it possible to offer the same photo to absolutely different contexts. In this case, in our opinion, a wide field of possibilities for manipulating public opinion opens up. German journalists treat the issues we are discussing more thoroughly, believing that the photo should fit a single material, which is, therefore, a guarantee of its authenticity and uniqueness. Lid is one of the most important elements of printed material. Its importance lies in the fact that it is a recommendation, a guide to action for anyone who takes up the newspaper, quickly flips through it without having time to detain its attention for a certain length of time, to reflect on the content, that is, for the overwhelming majority target audience. From how the first phrases are composed, it depends whether they will start to read at all, whether the reader will be able to easily and correctly understand the meaning of what is being reported. The reporter tries in the most concise form to tell as much as possible, to interest and keep attention. Lead, as a rule, leads from the title to the text. This self-contained text is not the beginning of an article and not an addition to the title. Lid says a bit more about that and the title, but he says it in other words, so as not to create a repulsive effect. The task of the lead is to hint in a concise form about what the article is about. It will be more interesting if any question remains open. The leader says the most important thing, but readers want to know and details. La Roche (1975) calls the lead a central, basic statement, and all the rest, ̶ and this is the text of the article, ̶ add-ons! The most interesting lid is in the first sentence, and it answers one of seven questions: who? what? Where? when? as? why? whence? Russian practice journalists call the optimal size of the lead, up to the number of words - 30-40 words or 250-350 characters (Melnik & Teplyashina, 2004). Lids with a volume of more than 500 characters are considered overloaded and in need of reduction. The main principle of writing a good news item reads: KISS - Keep it short and simple! The first nuclear sentence of the lead should contain all the "salt" of the information. As a rule, these are the answers to the questions "who" and "what." The second sentence is called a proposal-detail, and it answers the remaining questions, of course, in terms of the importance of the information, but the question "where" from. The third sentence is the background one. It indicates any relationship, the history of the event and the analysis of what happened. Recently, in the German periodicals, a new line appeared in the header complex, linking, on the one hand, the beginning of the material with its ending, and, on the other hand, uniting almost all parts of the header complex and saving the reader time. It's called: "Wenig Zeit? Am Textendegibt' seine Zusammenfassung " - " It's not enough time? At the end of the text there is a generalization. "It is curious that this line appears invariably after the header complex, that is, the addressee, therefore, depreciates the material itself, and by obligatory parts of the article makes the beginning of the publication and in some way duplicates its content at the end, in a generalization.

For example, the magazine Spiegel, dated August 8, 2018, contains an article titled “Organisierte Kriminalität Wie die Callcenter-Mafia Millionen Euro erbeutet”. Under the headline you can see a rather voluminous subtitle: “Sie gebensich am Telefonals Polizisten, Staatsanwälte, Richter aus und zockenvorallem Senioren ab. Wie systematisch die türkische Callcenter-Mafia ihrkriminelles Geschäftbetreibt, beschreibteine LKA-Analyse”. Then the author places a photo and under it a photo signature. It should be noted that in this case the photo, like the signature, does not carry specific information, but, duplicating each other, shows the average pensioner at the phone, indicating that everyone can become a victim. Immediately behind the photo and the signature follows a line, sending the reader straight to the end of the material, to the resume. In other words, the basic information that might be of interest to the reader was already in the title and the subtitle and can also be generalized.


The headline complex in the modern press has a set of creative technologies, both verbal and visual, which can provide the reader with all the exhaustive information without a direct reference to the text of the article. This became possible due to, first, a clear structuring of the header complex itself, and, secondly, to the strengthening of the role of visualization, which, according to Shevchenko, means a way of graphical representation of meaning, the presentation of the event in a non-verbal way (Shevchenko, 2014). Visualization is not just a technology for a long time, it is a means of intercultural communication.


Now the printed text, and especially the text in the press, as McLuhan (2005) believes, is information transmitted visually. Even the font graphic becomes a symbol with its own meaning. Mitchell, one of the leading visualization theorists, concludes that modern philosophy and science are increasingly oriented towards a new model of the world: the world appears not so much as text, but as an image (Mitchell, 1996), and McLuhan (2005) believes that the entire written culture is non-verbal, that is, visual, since after writing the word no longer refers to the auditory canal, but is perceived by the eyes (McLuhan, 2005). Any graphic symbol is an element of the visual language. The main difference between visualization and the usual image in print media is that it becomes a full-fledged carrier of information, it reports the event in a similar manner to the text. Thus, images are not only an element of the external form of the publication, but also its content. It is the possibilities of visualization and the possibility of synthesizing verbal and non-verbal means of expressiveness of informativeness that make the press more modern to us more creative.


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30 December 2018

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Lenkova, T. (2018). Creative Technologies Of The Header Complex In The Media Text. In V. Chernyavskaya, & H. Kuße (Eds.), Professional Сulture of the Specialist of the Future, vol 51. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 501-507). Future Academy.