From the books I’ve been reading on these days.
Richard Craig the author of Online Journalism: reporting, writing, and editing for new media has mentioned in his book a lot of great tips and principles on how to write stories on new media, specifically the Internet. I’ll summarize some of the tips I’ve learned from his book to write a good story for this blog (and of course for this Journalism paper).
Well, just like the traditional journalism writing process (here I mean those that of Print media), online journalists/journalism students firstly need to be aware of what type of news and stories will be worth writing. Stories that are matter and attract readers’ attentions. This is also a big question I’ve been wondering the whole time! What’s the news worthiness? And as Craig suggested in his book, journalists should always bare in mind the question “So what?” as a news reader “can easily opt to ignore anything that doesn’t look interesting “.
The second thing we need to care about while writing a news story is the Sources. Sources are from the net database, from books, from other news medias and of course sources are people too! Craig encourages journalists to regularly keeping contacts with people within the community because it helps us in “formulating ideas and getting information”.
Of course once having a source of information, the journalist also need to be careful about their sources’ credibility. We need to check whether this source is reliable by asking ourself questions such as “why should I believe this info”, “who is this person, is this person in a position to know this info?” etc. etc. No one want to write a story and at the end realize that it is not true as your sources are false or not entirely truthful!
The third thing to take notice is the Interview preparation. Once you have enough sources, you need to either extract face to face interview or through the phone or through e-mail or all of this if possible. The most favorable type of interview is of course “face-to-face interview” which you can observe the interviewee’s real expression (here you can judge on how they respond to the questions and see whether they are truthful or trying to avoid something and hence produce more questions to ask).
To have a good interview where you can extract the most out of your interviewee, a good preparation is essentially needed! Do your homework! This means that you need to check the background info of the story, of your interviewee thoroughly. Jotting down questions you have from general ones to those that are more specific (this set of questions to ask are vital for you story and there will be another more detail post on this). Setting up the location of the interview (if a face-to-face interview is possible), observe the surroundings, be confident and mindful!
There will be some more tips in journalism writing and how I have applied these tips on the story I’m writing on in later posts.