How to write a mobile news story

According to research from the Nielsen Norman Group, it may be nearly twice as hard to comprehend information you consume on a smartphone-sized mobile device. The limited amount of information displayed on the screen requires users to remember more as they move from screen to screen. In addition, the act of scrolling is a distraction, …

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How TV journalists write for social media

Kristen Wilson spent her college career working on design and magazine projects, but her first job out of school put her on the front lines of WTVA’s social media presence.  Wilson is a Web producer for the NBC affiliate in Tupelo, Mississippi.  She says the best way to master social media is by observing your …

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Top 5 social media writing tips

It’s not hard to find a slew of articles on best practices for social media tweets and posts, but if you can only focus on five things, here’s where to start! 1.  Share “news.” Before you say, “Duh!” — let us explain.  In addition to sharing pieces of information about any story you’re reporting, be …

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Top journalism skills in 2012

So, it may seen a little arrogant to assume that our blog can act as a barometer of the journalism industry, but what the heck. If you look at the five most viewed posts of 2012, it seems reasonable to me to make the following assumptions: The fundamentals still matter.  The No. 1 post on …

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Better blogging made easy

If blogging is just writing, why is it so hard to do well? Maybe because it’s not just writing, or at least it shouldn’t be. Journalism students who ought to know the basics seem to struggle with blogging as much as anyone else. They aren’t sure what to write about or how to make it …

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Ten Web writing tips in 10 minutes

Bob Kaplitz is a consultant for Audience Research & Development.  In a recent post, he produced an excellent 10 minute presentation on effective Web writing. He describes a new “prime time” for online news use.  For example, use of computers, mobile devices and tablets jump up after about 6 a.m.  Computers rule for much of …

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Double checking when you’re going solo

Seek truth and report it is the prime directive of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. And one of the basic conditions of reporting truth is to be sure you are accurate. For a multimedia journalist, producing a story on his or her own, getting it right is just as important, but tougher …

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Journalism grads wish they had more Web skills

The annual survey of journalism and mass communications graduates finds that most grads are using the Web skills they’ve learned in school and wishing they had more. The majority of 2010 bachelor’s degree recipients said they had the skill when they completed their studies to write for the Web, edit for the Web, use still photography …

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Writing for social media

Digital marketer Chris Lake offers a round-up of advice on writing for social media that he’s culled from some of the world’s biggest companies.  They all seem highly relevant to what journalists are trying to do as well. Here are a few favorites: INTEL Always pause and think before posting. That said, reply to comments …

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Structuring a multimedia story

The problem with many news stories is that they’re not really stories at all. They’re a jumble of facts, often in no apparent logical order. What stories need, as we note in the book, is a focus and structure: beginning, middle and end. That sounds simple enough, but when you’ve gathered a ton of material …

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