Example of an excellent online story

I read news online every day as it is much easier for me to access and I prefer reading things online that are updated on a regular basis.

News.com.au although frustratingly annoying sometimes (especially when there are so many articles with spelling errors!) had a really fantastic and well written story today that I thought would be great to share on my blog as an example of good online news writing.

The original story comes from the Daily Telegraph, a reputable news source in Australia.

This story for me has everything I like to see in an online news story

  • images relevant to the story,
  • social networking images and or text,
  • links to similar stories
  • and the best part – a punchy must-read headline.

For me the headline is usually the standout. I will be captured by the short, under 25 words phrase which makes me want to read further or ignore the story and move onto the next one.

This particular stories headline said the following:

Australia’s next top controversy – size 8 model bullied for being too fat

Most women would automatically read on once reading the headline considering a size 8 is considered especially thin these days.

The story also had an image of the girl who was bullied looking very beautiful and thin to further enrage the target audience to read on.

Australia's Next Top Model contestant Alissandra Moone (from WA) was likened to "overstuffed luggage" by judge Alex Perry. Picture: Foxtel

The next bit of imagery was a tweet by famous Australian designer Alex Perry relating the comment he had made about the girl.

Nothing like throwing some wood on the fire.

The final reason for this story being an example of great online journalism is the links to other stories on the side. Normally I just ignore these but the layout and headlines encourage me to go on and read these stories.

This is the way its done people.


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ScribbleLive: Is this the future of news?

Modern audiences want and need up-to-date news and information now. Not in 1 hour, not in 10 minutes but RIGHT NOW.

The demand for fast news and updates in technology have enabled live-blogging applications such as ScribbleLive to become a must have journalism tool.

ScribbleLive Website: Your broadband audience demands news, social media and user-generated content in real-time. ScribbleLive makes it easy for you to post/edit content and interact with audiences up-to-the-second. Turn your breaking news into live-feeds and stay relevant with every post.

Many online news websites are now utilising this online blogging platform to send readers up-to-date information by the minute.

Wesh.com is currently as of this minute running a live blog via ScribbleLive to update Orlando (US) residents about the Hurricane currently in their midst.

Reuters has used ScribbleLive in the past to live-blog about the Japan earthquakes and the London Riots as mentioned in my previous post.

ScribbleLive is also compatible with other live-blogging platforms such as  twitter and gives user the ability to upload videos, images and voice recordings straight to the live event page. This enables readers to feel like they are actually there witnessing the even first hand which is an incredibly important tool for online news.

Here are some screenshots from the iPhone ScribbleLive app and what you can do:Overall I would say that ScribbleLive is a must have for any journalist especially those involved in online news. Although the app itself is free, it only enables you to create 1 live event, basically just to trial the product. News organisations would be better to pay for the full features and fully utilise this product to its potential.


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Disasters, Online News and Live-Blogging

The recent UK riots led a number of news organisations to “live blog” the events to the ever curious and worried public.

It is no longer the case anymore that you sit all day waiting for that 6PM news report or for the newspaper the next morning to get the most up-to-date news stories. Now, instead of waiting, people can access live reports online from their computer, phone, iPad and numerous other techno-savvy devices.

Reuters ran a live blog whilst the riots were happening to keep people up-to-date. The news was updated every few minutes using Scribble Live, which creates posts in the form of 140 characters per post (similar to Twitter).

The Scribble Live platform also allows people to comments on the posts which in turn creates an informed discussion about the disaster or event as it happens.

The live reports also contained links to the latest news stories about the riots which contained more detail. The “live blogging” is a definite must have for the time-hungry people of today and better to come from the professional media outlets rather than rumour mill on social networking sites.


Image courtesy of Reuters

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Tips for Online Journalism and Writing for an Online Audience

I recently wrote a post at my fashion blog which looked at tips for blogging. This post however will incorporate some of my original post but focus on the aspect of online journalism and writing for an online audience.

1.Poor Design and Layout:
For me (having undertaken web design and layout classes for work) I feel the number 1 let down for blogs and some websites is poor layout and design. Although you think it might look cool to have a bright sparkly background with different coloured text in different fonts and sizes across the page, trust me that this is a big web design no-no. The best layouts are those that are simple and minimalistic but aesthetically pleasing to the reader/shopper whatever your site targets.
Some good examples of news websites are ABC news which enables readers to focus on local news. Drop down menus such as those at the Courier Mail are also great for readability.
 2. Social Networking
Definitely one of the most important aspects of blogging or writing for an online audience is networking! There is sooo many ways to network and with the internet and google at your fingertips you cannot go wrong. If you don’t have a Twitter get on that bandwagon right now! It’s a great way to get exposure for your blog or news website.
Many established news organisations use Twitter as a quick way to disseminate information to the public. Use of links back to original stories means increased traffic for your news site.
3. Social Bookmarking
I use social bookmarking with every post I write and it usually brings me a few visits so it is well worth it. Some of the best ones to use are Digg, StumbleUpon, Google Buzz, and Delicious. There are many others but these are the main ones I use and the returns are endless. Not only that but it helps get your website into Google search which is where you want it to be!
4. SEO and Writing Good Blog Post titles and tagging
Write titles for your posts that will attract people in to read especially when you are first starting out. The more key words you use the easier it will be to find your blog through Google and other search engines. Tagging your posts is another important weapon in the SEO field as these tags can also be picked up by search engines and hence direct more traffic to your blog or website.
5. Write at least ONE viral post
Is there a topic or fad that is popular right now. Get on board and blog about that using your new fabulous SEO writing techniques. I recently wrote a post about Nina Proudman from Offspring as I love the show and the fashion but this post has gone crazy viral! If you type in Nina Proudman into any search engine now there will be my blog and its post about her style. It is crazy how many hits I have gotten and still get each day from a couple of posts I wrote about Nina’s style.
The same can be said with news posts- write about something controversial and be sure to have an opinion on the matter – ie new column style. This will attract people to your site and create conversation meaning more traffic and more search engine hits!

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