Tag Archives: online journalism

How Twitter Can Help You Make It in Journalism

Twitter is one of the best social media tools available that will drive traffic to your news blog or website. Every news organisation and journalist scours Twitter headlines for new information and stories but also use it to promote their own work.

Poynter recently had an article which discussed the 10 ways in which journalists can use Twitter to promote their stories. I found this article particularly interesting and very useful for new journalists.

ABC Newss uses Twitter to capture readers

Wanting to break into the journalism industry is hard regardless of your qualifications or skills. Consistently writing informative news stories on a blog or website increases your credibility and likelihood that someone in the industry will read your work.

However you can also use Twitter before, during and after publishing a story to ensure you have readers baited with hook, line and sinker.

The Poynter article by Mallary Tenore suggests

‘it’s not enough to assume that the social media folks at your news organization will tweet links to your stories; you have to tweet links from your own account and get your stories in front of the right people.’

Therefore linking tweeting is an invaluable tool for online journalists especially those wanting to be acknowledged in an over-crowded industry.

The article also suggests that conversing with your fellow tweeters is a great way to be noticed as not everyone is interested in boring one line links to a story.

“Tweet about your favourite part of a story, share a detail about the reporting process, or pose a question. When someone answers the question, respond to them. Starting conversations about our work on Twitter — and adding to the ones already taking place — helps strengthen our voices as journalists.”

Twitter can also be used for story-telling especially for continuing stories or live events. People want to read about what is happening- what you are actually witnessing or hearing and do not always want to read about a structured written account. Online journalism has opened up a new era of live news and this is what gets people into a story more than anything.

Tenore also suggests that Twitter is great way to build credibility by verifying sources or pointing out where the information comes from to avoid incorrect information.

“As a journalist, you can show your credibility by debunking incorrect information and only tweeting information you’ve verified.”

Overall Twitter is an invaluable source for those already in or wanting to move into the competitive online journalism industry.


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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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