The purpose of a headline is to let someone who hasn't read the story, and may not ever read the story, have some idea of what's in it. That way they can decide whether or not to read it.
I'll give the you the first couple of paragraphs of a story of a hate crime, and then show you the headline:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A white man said he was beaten by a group of African-American youths who used racially derogatory terms during the assault.
Kansas City Police said the 50-year-old man suffered a fractured hip and other injures. An officer found the man lying in the road at 67th Street and Prospect Avenue about 10:40 p.m. Thursday.[More]
Here's the headline:
That's a lot of help, isn't it?
Previously from Kansas City: Kansas City Star Censoring Horrific Anti-White Hate Crime?