Module JT060

Writing for Online Media

Module authors

Megan Knight

University of Central Lancashire

Andrew Michael Duffy

Nanyang Technological University

Learning objectives

After you have completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate why journalism is moving online;
  • Know tactics for creating successful online content;
  • Know tactics for promoting your online journalism;
  • Understand how readers approach online journalism;
  • Understand the rationale behind multimedia journalism;
  • Understand the rationale behind interactive journalism;
  • Be aware of the legal issues surrounding online journalism;
  • Understand how to work effectively with citizen journalists.

Chapter 1: Writing for the web
1.1 Similarities and differences with traditional journalism.
1.2 How readers read
1.3 Headlines and keywords
1.4 Tactics for web writing

Chapter 2: Multimedia journalism
2.1 Online convergence
2.2 Multimedia storytelling
2.3 Storyboarding and editing

Chapter 3: Data presentation
3.1 Why use data?
3.2 Sources of data
3.3 Principles of data use and visualization
3.4 Tools for data visualization

Chapter 4: Participatory journalism
4.1 The rise of user generated content
4.2 Journalists as curators
4.3 Managing the conversation
4.4 Copyright

Chapter 5: Building an online audience
5.1 Audiences and social media
5.2 Branding and identity
5.3 Social engagement
5.4 Verification
5.5 Tools for social media use

Chapter 6: Making money
6.1 Traditional financial models
6.2 Disruptions

Study points 2
Preview Writing for Online Media


Why Open School of Journalism believes that writing for online media is an important skill for journalists

Online media includes photos, videos, and music that can be distributed over the Internet. These materials can either be copyrighted or non-copyrighted, and they may be distributed free or for a fee. Most of the digital media stored online is encoded in a machine-readable format. Some of the most common online media includes digital imagery, digital video, and computer programs and software. Other popular online media includes social media, digital audio, and databases. eBooks and MP3s are other popular forms of online media.


Why study online journalism?

Digital media, along with the Internet and personal computing, has caused disruption in publishing, journalism, education, commerce, and politics. While it has made it easier to disseminate information to the public, there have been much dissent about online media in journalism. Why? For one, it has caused many challenges to the laws related to copyright and intellectual property. Some copywriters have had to give up all the legal rights to their work.

Digital media started a movement in the industrial society. It is coined as the Information Age because all of the media is produced on computers. This helps copywriters overcome copyright laws and censorship when they are able to express themselves in an instant online. This opens up so many different possibilities that were not available when all writing was only in print.

Journalists today can save all of their research and information online in the cloud and access it from any place and at any time. It makes doing research on the road easier and more convenient. Data can be accessed from cellular phones, laptops, and other mobile devices. Because the data is digitized, it can also be created and shared via the Internet and other forms of digital transfer.

The economy has also shifted from an industrial economy to an information-based economy. The new digital revolution has made it easier for journalists to share information via portals like YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Blogs are also a great way for journalists to practice their trade and get exposure. This is why it's so important for journalists to understand all forms of online media and master their trade.

They need to become familiar with the new definitions that have emerged as a result of writing courses for online media. This type of media also requires that journalists learn new communications skills. Classes will teach you media literacy and digital literacy. This will enable you to converse with others effectively and succinctly.

As we move toward a paperless society, it will be more important to understand the implications of digital media and how it can be used effectively. Some of the small movie theaters, such as the ones in Hollywood, are suffering as a result of the transition to digital media. There is a fear that some will not survive the transition if they are unwilling to learn or train. This is why it's important to learn about the classes that are available.


Overview of the module

As a part of your coursework, you will learn how to appreciate how and why journalism is moving online. You will learn the tactics for creating successful online content, and you'll understand how to promote your online content. When you understand how readers approach online journalism and the rationale behind multi-media journalism, you'll be more successful in the transition to digital media.

You should also understand the rationale behind interactive journalism, and you should be aware of the legal issues surrounding online journalism. In addition, you should also understand how to work effectively with citizen journalists. Here are some examples of module parts that you may take to master these skills:

  1. Learn to Write for the Web:  Learning to write for the web is essential to any journalist. Without basic skills, you will not be as effective as you need to be to attract an audience that will deliver what's necessary to gain exposure for your article. To learn to write for the web, you must understand similarities and differences with traditional journalism, how readers read, how to effectively write keywords and headlines, and web writing tactics.
  2. Learn Multimedia Journalism:  Multimedia journalism is a fine art. You must master a number of skills to ensure that you can tell a compelling story to capture an audience.
  3. Learn Data Presentation:  You should also learn data presentation. There is a certain way to present data that will attract a larger audience.
  4. Learn About Participatory Journalism:  Participatory journalism is another area that should be mastered, if you intend to be a successful journalist with digital media.
  5. Building an Online Audience:  You should learn how to build an online audience. This means learning about all of the methods that are available to build an online audience and also the tools available.
  6. How to Make Money:  You should also learn how to make money by studying the different methods. There are some models available that will help people understand how to make money effectively and quickly.