By MARK GATELY
All the bells and whistles
Finding a great story and writing it beautifully isn’t enough these days – for your readers or the people who employ you.
It’s more important than ever to both get someone’s attention and keep them engaged.
We do this in the digital world by embedding content in our stories that adds to the user experience. These can include:
- Videos – in my experience the No.1 choice for major websites
- Great photos or photo galleries
- Podcasts or audio files
- Polls or surveys
- Breakout quotes
- Hyperlinks to related stories or websites
Let’s take a look at them.
YouTube is a one-stop shop for suitable videos for a wide range of stories. But don’t stop there – if you have access to alternative sources that won’t breach copyright, or are able to obtain permission from the rights holder, go for it.
Or you can just make your own!
Once again, taking your own is an awesome option. If you are a photographer that also opens up the option of galleries and photo essays. The subject of your story is another great source of images and of course there’s Creative Commons.
The likes of charts, polls, infographics, memes and statistics perform both informational and design roles in your story. There are a number of different apps and programs but the big player is Canva. And don’t forget the huge list of tools Verity included in the GNP blog.
Your options here include audio files or full-blown podcasts (Podbean is a well-reviewed free app while Siteground and Bluehost are recommended as more fully featured budget-priced options). WordPress makes it simple to embed not just these but all sorts of files.
Polls and surveys
The first submission of six pieces of content for your News Conference portfolio is due this week. Please place any content you have created including Off Campus stories, Good News Project material and suitable content produced as weekly tasks in the Final Assessments folder.
Then compile a list of that content plus any other contenders including pieces you are working on, story ideas and content from other classes which might be repurposed and put that in your weekly folder.
Don’t be afraid to try something different. Not every story has to be a news story with interviews, you can do pop culture explainers or ratings stories that spark debate.
Collaboration is an option for producing content – either with another journalism student on a written piece (or one providing visual content) or with someone from another stream.