Writing for Web presentation for first year Journalists.

Having just provided a presentation to the first year Digital Media Journalism students about writing that’s fit for the web, I have come across several improvements that could have been made to my presentation. As well as my improvements I am also going to discuss my findings in greater detail and look at areas I wish to pursue further.

Firstly I understand that my discipline involves writing for news, but that doesn’t mean stereotypical news. Therefore I decided to look at a wide range of writing styles that appear on the internet.

I researched sites such as The BBC UK, World news and breaking news, The New York Times and The Independent. Prior to this I examined other websites that contain product descriptions and reviews, websites for example, IMDB and Game. I also researched sites that use web 2 in order to recognise the functionalities of websites which contain user generated content such as Twitter, my personal blog (Word press), Facebook and MySpace.

When I researched these websites I found many interesting facts about writing for the web. This mostly contained how to write for the web. I included this in my presentation.  For instance, when you write for the web there are a series of rules that you should abide by.

The average word count of an online piece is between 200-400 words. The reason for this is because readers only scan articles, statistically you read three words per second. The news whether in print or online works using an inverted news pyramid. This basically means that the article is written in order of most important to least to keep the readers interested.

The layout of writing that is fit for the web is supposed to be in an F shaped pattern with an image fitted at the top of the article, I assumed this is for voyeuristic pleasure and the fact that it looks aesthetically pleasing. As well as their being a particular pattern news is broken down into a series of paragraphs for easy reading in light of their only being 200-400 words.

As well as giving a presentation for the first years I also created a hand-out for them.  On this hand-out was the key rules of writing for web, my blog address and a competition that I thought would be good practice and beneficial for them to try.

The key rules that I had provided them with where ones that I learnt in my own lectures. I thought that they would provide an insight to how to write for web. I wish that when I started I studied more about the rules to develop or manufacture my work so it is web worthy. Prior to this I mentioned about a competition that ‘The Telegraph’ runs. Basically you submit a 500 word piece of travel writing to them online, if you win it is displayed on the website and you receive a free holiday. I felt that it would be good practice and fun in order to try and thoroughly develop their writing skills.

In conclusion, I felt that my presentation went really well. However, next time I feel that if I spent more time developing realistic scenarios to present to them that they would have further insight on what it would be like to cover a vast amount of mediums via web.




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