Printed media can no longer compete for advertising dollars with Internet media, and it obviously cannot compete with the real-time advantages of mobile online media, social networking media or online news sites. Many news papers are trying to make the transition, but are having a tough go of it, why you ask?
There is becoming less and less need for print media, and it is rather obvious when you see the sensationalized headlines, along with the “build them up, then burn them down” real raw news tactic with celebrities and politicians. Just take a look at Britney Spears and Paris Hilton; and if anyone bothered to stop and think about it – who cares anyway, but it’s supposedly news – although it does nothing but dummy down the population in my opinion.
Worse, who needs to read the newspaper to look up Paris Hilton online when you can have your selection of 177 million web pages, found in. 0375 seconds? Maybe for this reason and many others, it appears that newspapers will die and it is their own fault. Too, the “click-happy, ” millennial text messaging crowd that is destroying literature, the language and desires instant everything does not read the newspapers like baby-boomers.
Then there is the obvious issues with the cutting down of trees for papers, inability to recycle it all to print the new and the water usage of the papers. Couple that with the advertising lost revenues due to recession and the election is over, so where is the money coming from, it takes a lot of money to operate a newspaper! Think on this.
Tight writing is one of the basic rules of news writing, and the same rule applies when you are working on a story for the internet.
It simply means to keep your sentences to a minimum. Like this. However, don’t lose the depth of your story. Be careful not to get your mind locked in this rule because you might end up with a dull and boring story. The key to making short sentences work is in using an active writing voice. By doing so you are writing in motion. You also have to make sure that you choose strong action words.
Take this example:
“The suspect in the stabbing of a homeless man in a cemetery on Wednesday was caught by police authorities yesterday. ” (Passive Writing) “Police authorities yesterday caught the suspect in the stabbing of a homeless man in a cemetery on Wednesday. ” (Active Writing)
Active writing is punchier, direct to the point, and clearer on who is doing what.
Use broadcast writing techniques when delivering news online. Writing tight for the broadcast medium means exploring one idea per sentence which would read logically by the end of the paragraph. Your story will be easier to comprehend and you will be able to retain your readers attention. However, be wary of sounding robotic.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of writing in your personal style. This would bring a unique voice to your stories, differentiating it from the varied content available online. Conversational writing styles are acceptable in online news writing. Engaging readers work well mainly because the internet thrives on interactive communication. Discover what unique conversational tone you are comfortable with and work on developing that writing voice. *