Jonathan Dube has eight great bullet points for Writing News Online. First you need to know your audience. Are you writing for sports fans, foodies, fashion, mom’s, tweens, bieber fans; make sure to know the habits of your readers. Then, what would be the best way to go about reporting the story? For sports fans you would want audio and video, for example. How can you compliment the story you are reporting? Possibly a great lead in? Write tight and passively and stick to one idea per sentence. Do explain! Not just what happened but why it matters to your readers. Where’s your lead? Don’t bury it! No mish-mash here! The story needs to make sense, to EVERYONE reading it. Finally keep it short but sweet. Dube explains that Roy Peter Clark has written a wonderful essay arguing that any story can be told in 800 words — a good guideline for online writing.
April 6, 2011