PSA: journalists aren’t supposed to put names in the headlines if the person isn’t a public figure. It’s not a matter of maliciously not giving credit

^^^as a journalist, this is something that bothers me ALL THE TIME

A friend of mine on Twitter explained this the other day, so to elaborate based on what she said: If the name is not instantly recognizable the way a public figure is, then putting the name in the headline isn’t going to bring about any sort of recognition or connection in the reader, and doesn’t do much to draw the reader into the story. But something like “local teen” does create a connection by tying the person into the community, and encourages the reader to learn more about what this local teen has done. The name will be in the article itself, after the headline has done its job at getting the reader to look into it.

It’s worth noting too that usually, according to the Inverted Pyramid writing style used for journalism where the most important information is shared first, the person’s name is usually in the first sentence of the first paragraph.

Whenever I see someone get up at arms over a headline that says “Local Teen” and the first comment is “SAY THEIR NAME” I’m always like “hey, thanks for telling every journalist present that you don’t read articles and just skim headlines.” Really makes us feel appreciated.

I think this Onion headline illustrates the point pretty well