Chapter 8
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Chapter 8. Writing and Editing Online. Chapter Overview. Discusses the concepts of chunking and distilling for online content Examines how headlines, subheads and summaries can be effectively written Discusses how online story organization and structures can aid scannability

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Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Writing and Editing

Online


Chapter overview

Chapter Overview

  • Discusses the concepts of chunking and distilling for online content

  • Examines how headlines, subheads and summaries can be effectively written

  • Discusses how online story organization and structures can aid scannability

  • Provides an overview of how online stories can be updated with new information


Writing for online media

Writing for Online Media

  • The written word is still at the heart of online journalism.

  • Reading online is different, and content has to differ from print copy.

  • Basic tenets of journalistic writing still apply.

  • Online writing can be seen as a hybrid form of print and broadcast styles.


Scanning

Scanning

  • Readers scan for individual words and points of interest rather than read at length.

    • Lower resolution of a computer screen means reading online takes longer and is more tiring.

    • Smartphones display only a small amount of text at a time.

    • Users are task-oriented and looking for something specific.


Chunking and distilling

Chunking and Distilling

  • Chunking:

    • Breaking information into logical blocks

    • CMS

  • Distilling:

    • Refining the essence of a story into various shorter forms

    • Condensing a long story down to its essential points

  • Example from the New York Times


Writing for digital media

Writing for Digital Media

  • Direct Voice (avoid sarcasm and wit)

  • Serifs and san serifs

  • Good headline writing critical

  • Voice is more conversational


Writing for the online reader

Writing for the Online Reader

  • Writing headlines:

    • Headlines

    • Search engine optimization

    • Keywords

    • Subheads

    • Summaries (nut graph)

  • Writing stories:

    • Good organization

    • Short sentences and paragraphs

    • Section headings and bolding

    • Bullet points and lists

    • Adapting content

    • Writing for blogs


Story structures

Story Structures

  • Inverted pyramid

  • Chronological

  • Narrative

  • Thematic


3 layered approach

3-Layered Approach

  • Scannable Heads and blurbs

  • Online story

  • Longer print story, multimedia extras and reporter notes


Story written for print and rewritten for the web

Story Written for Print and Rewritten for the Web


Updating online stories

Updating Online Stories

  • Online readers expect updated information, especially in breaking stories.

  • Inverted pyramid story style is most often used.

  • Key is to integrate new information into the story smoothly.

  • Keep the most important info near the beginning.


Adapting content from other media

Adapting Content fromOther Media

  • Online journalists may have to take content from other media and adapt it for the online audience.

  • “Shovelware”

  • “There’s more to it than slapping it on the Web.”


Writing for blogs

Writing for Blogs

  • In blogs, journalists are able to use forms that are less formal and have less structure

  • But—still maintain a consistent style and follow rules of spelling and grammar


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