Discussion notes: Journalism concepts and practices

May 14, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: news web sites, web journalism.

Journalism on the web, starting with just journalism

Teach the basics of journalism — reporting, writing, presentation; they’re much the same on the web as they are in any other medium, but there are important differences that you should introduce:

    • lateral reporting
      We are used to thinking of journalism in a certain form. If it’s a newspaper, it’s an inverted pyramid news story. If it’s television, it’s a 45-second package with video (or something). The web offers the flexibility to tell and expand a story in many ways. What pictures and images can be gathered for the story? Are there graphics that can be produced? Are there documents (PDFs) that need to be included? What are the links that are most important for this story?
      Lateral reporting (excerpt from Writing for the Mass Media)
    • backpack journalism
      Backpack journalism is a reporting technique in which a reporter uses a variety of tools — computer, digital camera, voice recorder, video camera, etc. — to gether information for a story.
    • web packages
      An important consideration for the web journalist: what is the best way to present the information I have gathered.
      A web package is the gathering together of a variety of formats (usually on a single web page, but not always) to tell a story. One element of the package is often the central part of the story, but readers should find it obvious and easy to find any part of the story they wish to read or look at.
    • blogging
      An individual blog is a personal journal.
      A group blog is a blog that has several contributors. The New York Times, for instance, has a number of group blogs:
      Group blogs are common outside of journalism. For instance, Murderati, the group blog of a set of mystery novelists. Group blogs have a lot of power with an audience.
    • new story forms:
      tipsheet journalism: Mahalo.com, for instance
      Amy Gahran, “Tipsheet Approach to News: The Launching Point IS the Point.” Article argues that sometimes all you need to do for a story is a list, not a narrative. “News doesn’t always have to be a finished story. In some cases, a launching point might be even more intriguing and engaging.”

      twitter: 140 characters including a link

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