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