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Writing for online - Journalism skills

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Find out the important details about writing for online when it comes to newspapers and magazines.

This lecture was originally written for second year students at the Lincoln School of Journalism.

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Writing for online - Journalism skills

  1. 1. Writing for online Charlotte Reid | creid@lincoln.ac.uk
  2. 2. Homepages • Welcome page for websites • Contains main points of website/brand • Should encourage people to stay on the site
  3. 3. Homepages • Not as popular as used to be – readers are coming in the side door • Every page now acts like a homepage • Homepage still important to attract readers and keep them interested http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/08/coming-in-the-side-door-the-value-of- homepages-is-shifting-from-traffic-driver-to-brand/
  4. 4. Homepages • Important for advertisers – Mullet strategy • “Business up front, party in the back” http://www.businessinsider.com/jonah-perettis-awesome-viral-media-presentation- explained-2010-8?op=1
  5. 5. What makes a good website? • Clear to read and use • Most important part of website – make it big and obvious • What do readers want? • How will you show that to them? • Sharing content • Technical – website need to cope with traffic for big stories
  6. 6. Easy to read • Hard to keep people’s attention online • Some visitors will read articles properly • Others scan to what they want to read http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network- blog/2012/mar/19/attention-span-internet-consumer
  7. 7. Easy to read • Keep people interested • Good writing – short and punchy • Subheadings, pictures, videos, audio • Audience – Buzzfeed use images and gifs • Best way to cover story
  8. 8. Easy to read - experimentation • New York Times – Snowfall
  9. 9. Easy to read - experimentation • http://martinbelam.com/2013/hacks_hackers_usvsth3m/
  10. 10. Mobile websites • One in five UK digital news readers access news exclusively on mobiles • Mobile websites are optimised to look good on smaller screens • Mobile apps – tend to be downloaded if you are already loyal to that site http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2014/bbc-sport-handheld.html
  11. 11. Mobile websites Mobile website Smartphone app
  12. 12. SEO • Help people find your website – Tagging – Strong headlines – Useful links – Good content – Updated regularly
  13. 13. Registration • Needed for comments, email newsletters and paywalls • Consider how you will protect this information • Privacy issues and legal issues • Learn information from visitors to your site • Cookies – files on the user side which is helpful for advertisement
  14. 14. Interactivity • Reader comments • Voter polls • Social media Helps get readers talking on your site and allows them to contribute to your coverage
  15. 15. Interactivity
  16. 16. Interactivity Polls • Invite reader to respond to stories • Wordpress plugins, Google forms, Facebook polls • Think about question – make sure not taken advantage of • Results can be written into a new story
  17. 17. Interactivity
  18. 18. Interactivity Comments • Invite readers to have their say • Get reaction/more information • Emotive subject – are comments worth it? • Upset people • Legal complications
  19. 19. Interactivity
  20. 20. Interactivity Social media • Use to promote stories • Use to get reaction and comments http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/01/if-a-tweet-worked-once-send-it-again-and-other- lessons-from-the-new-york-times-social-media-desk/
  21. 21. Interactivity Social media •Useful to source stories •Contacts •Fact check and accuracy •Have permission Verification handbook http://verificationhandbook.com/
  22. 22. News is consumed differently • Need to be able to write your story in different ways – Short article and longer articles – Tweet/Facebook – Audio and video • Be able to make them all strong and make people want to read
  23. 23. News is consumed differently Also competing with • Facebook and social media • Blogs • Hyperlocal websites • Radio stations • Local TV All are very different but will have an online profile

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