Week 4: Writing News for the Web


President Barack Obama – Wikimedia Commons

>>> In Friday’s class, we will check in on your blogs and ensure they are properly configured for publishing content to them for the rest of the quarter. We will also talk about posting content through social media and look at the platform Storify. Finally, we will check in on the Online News Association’s annual gathering (ONA 13) and watch a livestream of today’s keynote from Nate Silver.

Here is the Storify article I created for coverage through the first day of the three-day gathering.

>>> In Wednesday’s class, we will analyze a recent news story: President Obama and the budget crisis. Here is a link to a Washington Post story package that we will be reviewing in class as the basis for our editing and sourcing exercise:

>>> In Monday’s class, I want to discuss this link about a fake press release that saw the financial fortunes of a company rise and fall rapidly in a short timeframe. Very interesting…


This week we will revisit a core skill of all journalism: writing. We will do a brief review of the fundamentals of writing for specific audiences; how writing for the Web is its own artform (with a lot of science behind it); and how journalism writing differs in format and structure.

The topic of writing for the Internet in general has been the subject of articles going back nearly a decade, such as “The 10 Commandments of Writing for the Web” (2004).

There are a lot of great resources on the Web itself where experts in the field have shared their approaches and key guidelines to writing news for the Web. Here are just a couple:

>> Here is our agenda for the week:

  • M – Overview on how to write news for the Web, comply with AP style
  • W – In-class research & editing exercise; reliable sources and editing for the Web
  • F  – Publishing & promoting content on news, social media platforms

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