Tag Archives: Online news

Online News – Convergent journalism

Click on this link if you want an explanation of what convergent journalism is.

Excellence in convergent journalism?

Excellence in convergent journalism is all about speed, accuracy and depth. It can be really hard to fulfil all of these three elements. You usually have to sacrifice at least one of the three when writing online news. The reasons for this is:

  • you’re under time pressure
  • you’re competing against other online publications to publish first
  • you have too many stories to cover because of staff limitation
  • you have too much information organize/go through before writing the story (information overload)

Here is an example of convergent journalism:

In today’s convergent journalism invironment you need comprehensive content. As a journalist this means you need to link to original sources in your story. You have to make it easy for your readers to find more information about the topic you’re writing about by linking or embed content from other websites.

When linking or embedding content you have to think about the strength of the different forms of media.

Creator katerha

Text is still the form of media that is most used online. By using text it’s easy to give the reader context and detail about the topic.

Still photos is also used a lot in online publication, which can make a story more alive and closer to the reader.

Interactive graphics can often give your story that ‘little extra’. Online readers like to interact when they are consuming news content, so using interactive graphics is a good way to keep them interested.

Video is a pretty new form of media in the online environment. However, it’s groving quickly. Video is good for:

  • enhancing the text
  • giving the story a human element
  • giving your source the chance to talk for longer
  • making the focus more about the event the reporter is covering, and not about the reporter
  • flexibility & authenticity

Audio is the form of media that are used the least online. But it could be good for communicating interesting narratives.

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Online News – Writing online news stories

Writing online news stories and writing news stories for print are similar techniques. But there are a few differences between the two.

Creator RambergMediaImages

In online news writing it is really important to include links in your news stories. This makes your story more credible, and it makes it easier for the reader by making other relevant information easy to access. You should use hyperlinks as a kind of attribution to what you’re writing. If readers can see where you got your information it makes your story more credible.

Here is an example of linking. Jonathan Dube’s have written an article on this topic, called “Writing News Online“. In point 11 he says, “do not fear the link”. Which means you shouldn’t be afraid of linking. Linking is a really important part of online writing.

Another thing you should think about when writing news stories for online publication is that your audience can come from many different places. What I mean by that is that your readers may not only come to your story by the front page of the website where your story is published. They could come to your story by a link on twitter or facebook or some other website. So think about this when you write.

Creator urlesque

You should also think about the length of your story when writing online news stories. A webpage can be as long as you like but will your readers still be interested if the story is too long. There is a saying, “too long, didn’t read” when it comes to online stories. Many shorten this to ‘tl;dr’.

So your story shouldn’t be too long but it should definitely make use different kinds of multimedia. Videos, pictures, maps and other multimedia materials should give the readers of your story more information. This gives the story more context.

It’s also important to think about how you write your headline. Your headline has to clearly tell what your story is about. This is essential if you want people to read your story because if they search in google they use key words, and if these key words are not in your headline your story won’t show up in people’s google searches. So make a note of this.

Use active verbs when you write. It will make the story more compelling to readers. You may have to rewrite your story but it’s worth it if the readers have a good experience when reading your story.

Also think about the format of your story. You can highlight words that you want your readers to pay attention to. It’s also important to use subheading to break up the story.  Your paragraphs should be short. Two or three sentences are GOOD.

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