Writing For New Media

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  • Writing For New Media

    1. 1. Writing fornew media KJB120 NewswritingGuest lecturer: Rosanna Ryan
    2. 2. New media in 2012• Internet and mobile technology as disruptive influences on news business• Every journalist needs to start developing ‘new media’ skills• The ‘people formerly known as the audience’ may already have these skills• More competition for the audience’s limited attention span
    3. 3. Types of sites• Websites for news organisations that have a core business offline• Online-only news organisations• Niche sites and blogs• News aggregators e.g. Google News• Social media e.g. Twitter, Facebook
    4. 4. Text and multimedia• Text has big advantages over multimedia: low bandwidth, easy to search, works similarly across different platforms, accessibility, many users prefer to read.• Images and video are increasingly popular• Trend towards infographics• Flash and HTML5, interactivity
    5. 5. Basic writing skills• Inverted pyramid for newswriting• Spelling, grammar, accuracy• Relevance to your audience• Attribution (online means links)• Importance of timeliness
    6. 6. New skills• Following a developing story: start off with what you’ve got and continue adding to it over time• ‘Never wrong for long’ can hurt credibility• Filing for different platforms: radio journalists asked to take photos, print journalists asked to film interviews; convergence• Audience engagement, e.g. keeping across social media reactions to your work
    7. 7. Popularity contest• Audience interest can be tracked more than ever before• Real time data on online traffic and people’s sharing habits• Most popular stories are tabloid staples: sex, crime, entertainment, offbeat• Balancing act: light and shade
    8. 8. Headlines• Short and sharp: • five to eight words • verbs, active voice • most important words at beginning • avoiding place names • avoiding ‘crash blossoms’• “Who is...?” “How to...” “Live blog...” “I can’t stop reading this...”
    9. 9. Style and tone• Depends on audience• Hard news calls for serious tone• Entertainment, sports news, opinion articles can be more relaxed• Always needs to be concise and direct• Use appropriate vocabulary
    10. 10. Length• Headlines and leads must travel alone• Three paragraphs is rarely enough• Some stories demand visual support• Attention span is only barrier to long-form feature/magazine-style writing• Single page versus microsites
    11. 11. Passive versus active• ‘Passive’ readers will follow whatever stands out: attract them with interesting headlines, colourful photographs, feature best stories in prominent positions• ‘Active’ readers looking for something specific: help them by giving unambiguous headlines, correct placement within sections, appropriate keywords
    12. 12. Social media and UGC• UGC: user generated content• ‘Witnesses are taking over the news’ (Jarvis 2008)• ‘People formerly known as the audience’ (Rosen 2006) access, organise, manipulate, create, collaborate and share media content in unpredictable and uncontrollable ways• Credibility issues: similar process to using any unverified information but needs to be faster• Copyright, privacy and other ethical issues
    13. 13. Mobile news• News events captured on mobile devices • quality low but improving • often unedited but instantly shareable • citizens performing ‘random acts of journalism’ (Lasica 2003) in moments of crisis • not just developed world• Mobile consumption habits, flexible formats• Mobile social media, geotagging
    14. 14. Day in the life• Copytasting• Subediting• Adding metadata• Photos, videos, links, maps• Producing bulletins• UGC and social media• Filling the gaps/reporting
    15. 15. What’s next• Visit the websites of your favourite news sources, on a computer, mobile or tablet• Follow journalists and news orgs on Twitter• Like journalists and news orgs on Facebook• Cross-section: broadsheet/tabloid, local/ national/international, niche/general audience• Learn to use an RSS reader
    16. 16. Next level• Start a blog and post twice a week• Use Facebook and Twitter to share your posts• Aim to get retweeted or liked by 20 people• Upload 100 photos to Flickr (cropped, colour corrected) or another photo sharing website• Shoot and edit a two-minute video and post it to YouTube or Vimeo• Create an account on Wikipedia and improve five entries

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