How Bossip Makes a Headline – New York Times
“The headlines are hands down the best in the world,” said Angela Rye, the CNN commentator and attorney.
“I love to read it,” said the sports journalist Jemele Hill. “I just can’t retweet it.”
Bossip, an Atlanta-based gossip website with a focus on black celebrity, was founded in 2006 and acquired by the media network Interactive One last year. Since then, the audience of the website has more than doubled, according to Janeé Bolden, the site’s managing editor. In part, that’s because of the website’s lyrical, often biting headlines, which inspire devotion, fear and above all, strong reactions. Ms. Bolden said that Lil Wayne’s manager made the sign of the cross when she told him where she worked.
The Times asked Bossip editors to talk about some of their favorite headlines and how they came about.Associate editor
“I wrote that headline at like probably about 7:30 in the morning sitting on the toilet,” said Jason Ryan Lee, 36, about a Bossip takedown of Taylor Swift’s recent cover of the Earth, Wind and Fire song “September.”
Mr. Lee, whose colleagues call him Jah, said that he conceives of headlines as a rapper might, trying to stuff them full of jokes, references and other linguistic tricks. He thought he stuck the landing earlier this month after finding out that Taylor Swift had turned the Earth, Wind and Fire hit into an acoustic ballad.
“She put a damn banjo on an Earth, Wind and Fire song,” Mr. Lee said, laughing. “How much more Birkenstock, L. L. Bean can you make this song?”
He wanted the headline to capture what he called Ms. Swift’s audacity so he used a word that nodded to whitewashing: caucasity. As a bonus, it rhymed. (In further describing Ms. Swift as a “soft-boiled