This page started out in as a note for another teacher who was wondering what to do on the "online techniques" day of a news writing survey course. A year later, I started giving the whole thing to the students as "class notes" whenever I talk about the Web in newswriting classes.
Later, I expanded the page -- and threw in some watermelon for color. To practice what most "new media" instructors preach about Web writing, this page really should be broken into smaller chunks and made more visually interesting. However, its present one-page format allows students to print it out for review, so I've kept it this way.
Online newswriting shares characteristics of newspaperbroadcast and public relations writing, three topics covered in many "News " or "Writing for the Media" classes. Online journalists, whether professionals writing for http: Bite-size pieces of news from myrtlebeachonline Writing for the Web has similarities to all kinds of newswriting: Clarity, Accuracy and Brevity are still good things. Students entering 21st century professional journalism are already writing for news media that are printed, broadcast and delivered digitally -- to desktop computers, laptops, handhelds, iPods and mobile phones.
Editors may have to here harder to fit their products onto those small screens or to break stories into smaller chunks, but in most other ways the Web is a bigger canvas for storytelling. Online, journalists can conquer time and space Is there an online news writing style? Many kinds of news writing are being published online, much of it adapted from newspapers or television news scripts.
Web producers may write different headlines and story summaries for their home or "section" pages, to give skimming readers a better idea of the the stories' contents and encourage them How To Write A Blurb For A News Story click-through. Or they may keep the original headline, but add a line or two of "second deck" to supplement the headline.
Creating a News Report
Look at these newspapers' online editions for examples: If both a text and a streaming-video copy of the broadcast are on the site, you can see how the Web story was or wasn't based on the broadcast script. Sometimes they even do extra reporting. Few online sites built by newspapers completely rewrite stories; more of their energy goes into writing summaries, teases and new headlines to lead readers to the stories, or writing photo captions and scripts for slide shows and multimedia features.
To see original news writing online, explore publications that were born on the Web, including "webzines" like http: For years, researchers and teachers have suggested that online stories be tightly edited and "chunked" into smaller segments. They update stories throughout the click here.
Sometimes they write in the present and present-perfect tenses to emphasize a "happening right now At the same time, online stories must stand up to reading hours or days after they are published, so time elements must be clear in the body of the story. In some cases, a site's Content Management System automates the process, adding a "last update" date and time to the top or bottom of a story. On the other hand, one local news site in Radford, Va. Like broadcast news announcers who "tease" upcoming stories before a station break, Web producers need to invite the reader to stick around.
Story summaries and headline lists can go on a home page, or on "section" pages like World News, Local News and Sports, or in the narrow columns called "rails" along the sides of other story this web page. Writing in layers, chunks and "microcontent" Summaries and headline lists aren't just "teasing.
A newspaper or this web page reader can take in two broadsheet pages at a glance, skim the headline and a few paragraphs of each story, flip through pages or spread out a double-page chart of election results. Online, a writer's headlines and summaries become navigation tools that lead readers to "inside pages" of the site. Writing effective headlines and summaries takes practice; so does expanding broadcast news scripts into stories that can be scanned quickly without the audio or video.
Writing clearly and concisely is even more important online than it is in print. See "usability" researcher Jakob Nielsen's essays at useit. By testing different versions of stories, he has reached some of the same conclusions stressed in every news writing textbook: Readers are in a hurry; make it How To Write A Blurb For A News Story for them to find and absorb information.
Follow the old "print journalism" advice; use the active voice, strong verbs, summary leads, inverted pyramid structure, tight writing and punchy headlines. That's "punchy" in the sense of direct and hard-hitting -- not stumbling around like Rocky in the next-to-last round. As an exercise, search Nielsen's writing pages for " inverted pyramid ," then for " promotional writing. People appreciate facts and an attempt at objectivitynot "soft" adjectives, adverbs, platitudes and marketing puffery.
Most news sites also recognize the value of what Nielsen calls "microcontent" -- smaller units of information. He means headlines and summaries, but also things like captions, subheadings, "lift-out" quotes and bullet lists.
What do you think? Is this bullet list easier to scan than the preceding sentence? I have experimented with it on this page, but too many bold words or blue hyperlinks can be annoying. This page may be an example!
Online news writing. Web producers may write different headlines and story summaries for their home possibly with a summary "blurb" before the story's lead. A blurb is a short promotional piece accompanying a and news websites. A blurb may introduce a newspaper or magazine The story of Miss Belinda Blurb at. Writing a book blurb for your back cover, and other promotional uses, is one of the hardest steps for many authors. Even good writers can write bad book blurbs. To. How to Write a Feature Article. Featured articles are windows into the human experience, giving more detail and description than a hard news story, which typically.
As a reader, what do you think? Do the bold words or the blue link words make the text harder to read? Are "layers of news" a new thing? Newspapers have told stories in layers for a century and more. Look at the way the Titanic's sinking was covered with pictures and multiple-deck headlines. Newspapers, as well as Web sites, generally confine themselves to one or two headline decks for most stories, possibly with a summary "blurb" before the story's lead paragraph.
Another layering approach, in both print and online, is what a Poynter Institute article called " non-linear narrative. The story was a natural for slicing into smaller pieces like the watermelon wedges at the top of this page.
In the full-page newspaper layout, each vegetable or fruit had its own "wooden" box. The same short "chunks" of text probably would work on the Web page or in the newspaper layout without much rewriting. On more complex topics, breaking a story into parts can require advance planning by the writer and editor. Hypertext novels have been written, taking advantage of that uncertainty to experiment with literary theories about storytelling and "closure.
Using hypertext links, many news sites offer readers collections of background stories on recurring topics in the news. For examples, see the Times topics pages on people, places and issues, or the Washington Post politics page, which links to a database of congressional click here records.
How To Write A Blurb For A News Story online story may be presented in several forms -- one designed for reading on the screen, another for printing, another for downloading to a Palm organizer. Sometimes that will be a matter of reformatting a single text, but it also might mean writing separate versions.
Invitations to Click Headlines and summaries are especially important online because they serve a dual purpose. They provide information, but they also provide navigation: They invite the reader to " click through " to a full story or to investigate additional chunks of a multi-part story. Readers can't scan down the first column of an online story the way they do a newspaper front page.
Headlines must work harder to tell people where they are going. Should the summary risk giving away too much? Or should it "tease" the reader to enter, and risk not telling enough? Professional site designers apparently have come to different conclusions. On a newspaper page, the headlines, lead paragraphs and photos work as a team. Break up that team and readers may not be able to tell what a story is about. If the paper makes a habit of two-part headlines, but its website design allows only one line, the effect can be disastrous.
For example, what information does this menu give you about the individual stories? Sundown Rises Something to bark about Happy campers? You bet Reward given for job well done Almost no information at all, right? Unless the reader came looking for cliches, platitudes and generalities. Readers of the print edition of the News Sentinel had better information about each of those stories. For instance, the first of those headlines looked like this: Sundown Rises Big crowd greets first concert in Knoxville's summer series For a more detailed discussion and the long more info of those real headlinessee the second half of this article about http: In the paper, each of those headlines had a second part that told more of the story.
The KnoxNews headlines do seem to have gotten better since I first posted this page. However, they still slip up now and then. For more examples of summary and headline treatments, see the home pages and section front pages of a few more news organizations. Are the page one summaries the same as the story-page How To Write A Blurb For A News Story Are the headlines the same ones that appear in the printed newspaper?
Do they tease like some television lead-ins, or do they invite you in with more information? Clip some stories from a printed newspaper without looking at the online version. Write your own summaries, then compare them with the newspaper website's version.
Study headlines from the printed newspaper or an online version. If you couldn't see the summary or lead this web page, would the headline tell you enough to decide whether to read the story? Can you do better in 12 words? Some Web page designs can be that limiting. Tape a news broadcast or find a news video clip online, then write a print-style story from it. Notice what gaps the TV station's Web editor would have to fill.
Check the spelling of names; use more print-like attribution, more time elements and details Since writing that essay, Cory has updated his ideas to point out that just rewriting isn't enough -- additional reporting may be needed to make a broadcast story "readable" on the Web. The news style of writing summaries, stories and lists also How To Write A Blurb For A News Story up on organizational sites practicing the latest in online public relations.
How to Write a Blurb. Tell your readers about the story. Focus on the important aspects of your characters and plot or argument after your hook line. How to Write a Blurb A blurb is the book description you find on the back of a book or online to describe a book's contents. Is Justin's story lunacy. Is there a more frightening word in the self-publisher's vocabulary than blurb? If you've been experimenting with publishing eBooks for any length of time, you've. How to Write a Book Blurb. History depends on who’s telling the story and book editing services, as well as featuring news. How To Write Back Blurb For Your Book. “TV news reporter Gracie Logan. Most authors find it much easier to write a story than a description.