Module 7
Writing the Story: Digital

Whether you call yourself an online journalist or just a journalist who knows how to write for the web, you will do well to familiarize yourself with the basics. As you complete these exercises and explore the module resources, you will learn to:

  • Know your audience. Understand that digital news audiences are often scanning copy, but they may also be looking for more depth and detail on a topic that interests them.
  • Write differently. Whether it's breaking up long blocks of text or learning to rewrite a broadcast script to work online, you need to practice writing stories that accommodate readers on the platforms they choose and take advantage of the capabilities of digital media.
  • Master headlines and summaries. Headlines are often your only opportunity to get someone to see the content you’ve created. They need to be intriguing, but provide enough information for the user to know what to expect by clicking through. Summaries must also truly encapsulate the story and build on the headline, so the opening paragraph of your story may not always work for digital.
  • Provide more. You don't have to be a technical whiz to succeed as a digital journalist; you do have to be aware of what's possible online and on other digital platforms, from knowing how to use simple links to understanding the potential of immersive storytelling.
  • Adapt to the digital journalism future. There's clear evidence that news organizations have shifted more resources to their digital platforms. This trend means more opportunities for journalists who know how to adapt their reporting and writing to each medium.

Module Exercises

  • Exercise 1: Skill Building--Converting Copy
  • Exercise 2: Discover Web Writing Techniques
  • Exercise 3: Writing Web Headlines