The Online Journalism Handbook: Basics of online reporting

Posted on February 19, 2009 By newswala Topic: Media, Onlinejournalismhandbook, Reporting

Let's start with the fundamentals:

The 4 timeless tenets of the Link Economy
Link Economy is a term given by Jeff Jarvis, a blogger and professor of journalism, and denotes the linking nature of the internet and how value is made by the act of linking itself. In Online Journalism, it covers the act of linking to the best sources on any topic. Rand Fishkin lists out the 4 basic truths that make online journalism work:

1. Make pages accessible
2. Target with keywords that searchers employ
3. Build content that users will find useful and valuable
4. Earn editorial links from good source


The point is: before you set to create an item for the web, story, set of aggregated links, photo essay and so on, ask yourself, "why would anyone link to you?"

Post adapted from Mediavidea post


Jonathan Dube's Online Storytelling Forms
Here's a list from Jonathan Dube of Cyberjournalist.net. Click to read in detail:

Print Plus: The traditional text articles plus any photos, links, etc...
Clickable Interactives: Usage of interactive graphics, animations etc...
Slideshows
Narrated Slideshows
Live chats
Quizzes and surveys
Animated Stories
Multimedia interactives: mostly Flash-based
Multimedia Stories without words: Letting the images speak for themselves
Panoramic/Virtual tours
Blog posts
Databases: e.g. Everyblock.com
Using information from the community and people at the scene
Interactive memorials: special multimedia editions around people and events
Text chunking (Semi-linear storytelling with words):
Games


OJR's 3 styles of Online reporting

The Online Journalism Review divides online reporting and their usage by news businesses into 3 broad categories:

1. Open source reporting:
where a reporter announces the topic, inviting readers to submit leads, tips, sources and ideas. In the end, the reporter will sift through all the information provided and come up with the final story.
2. Distributed news reporting: This is Open source reporting 2.0. Here the readers in the community write the stories themselves, adding to a varied and multi-faceted body of work, often covering all the sides of the story.
3. Traditional Reporting done online: Using the traditional journalist's process - A. Interviews B. Observation C. Looking through documents D. Reading Online - offering opinion E. Reading Online - aggregating opinion.

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