Writing and Digital Media  for journalists

Writing and Digital Media for journalists

I have a particular interest in Journalism and have focused my blog around the increasingly digital world of journalism. This class has helped me to explore and gain a better understanding of the increasingly digital world of journalism. There have been some major themes throughout the semester that I believe can be applied to online news stories. Now, more than ever it is important for journalists to be aware of the materials available to them and utilize them.

Useful Advice

Journalists need to stick to the facts and keep articles short and simple because online readers now skim instead of reading the whole page.
 William Zinsser: Keep it simple and avoid clutter. This is more important than ever when writing for the internet because there are so many distractions.

It is important to stick to certain learned cultural expectations.

Don Norman: Cultural constraints are learned conventions that are shared by a cultural group.

For example, in a story that includes an image but the text should stay the main focus, the picture should be medium to small and placed at the top to the right after the text. We expect to read from right to left and journalists should take advantage of this cultural constraint to maximize the effectiveness of their news stories.

Different materials equals a different approach. Writing for the internet is different because the materials are different; there is text, images, video, sound, hyperlinks, links, etc.

Anne Wysocki:

  • A need to focus on the specific materiality of the text we give each other

It is important to assemble the materials together to form a serial composition.

Geoffrey Sirc: Writing as a non-symbolic approach, focusing on the materials involved and their basic composition.

This class, Writing and Digital Media, was not designed specifically for journalists; one of the best things about this semester was the freedom to apply the techniques learned to a certain area of interest. The reason this class perfectly applied to journalism because journalism is currently transitioning into an all digital industry. Anyone that wants to pursue journalism as a career needs to understand how to write for digital media.