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A discussion on: making stories relevant to an online audience

As discussed previously, with the digital age of the internet brings a new and exciting way to connect to almost anyone and everyone around the world.

This produces a new challenge for journalists… or does it?

How do journalists work around making articles relevant to an online audience?

It is most likely you won’t find the exact same stories on, for example CBC (a Canadian news website) and The Australian (which speaks for itself).

Unless it is of global significance (in other words impacts people on a global level, or is a extreme tragedy) then it unlikely you will find the same stories on those news websites.

As talked about in previous blogs readers don’t like having to search hard or far for news, but I think that by choosing to connect to a specific news website whether it’s their local online news, a metropolitan news website or even online magazine, they are consciously filtering the news they want to absorb from the news they aren’t interested in or that they may think doesn’t apply to them.

The Daily Miracle believes that news written for the online medium needs to be accessible and understood by national and international consumers. A reporter can’t assume all readers understand certain details, an example of this is the generalizing of a locations details. The Daily Miracle suggests dropping geographic pointers in the article, for example “Chermside, on Brisbane’s north side” (The Daily Miracle, p310).

Journalists must also be aware that each reader may have a different cultural background. The Daily Miracle advises staying away from “Australianisms” as well as jargon or clichés (The Daily Miracle, p310). This is the rule with any article really.

One way a journalist makes online news relevant to readers is by providing hyperlinks and tags at the end of articles. This means instantly a topic can become relevant to a reader, or at least has the potential to become a story they are concerned/interested/happy about, even if they haven’t followed it exactly as it’s evolved. The hyperlinks to other relating articles means the reader can quickly become knowledgeable on a certain topic, case or story.

The picture featured below is an example an article on the Courier Mail website published today (6th of September 2012), regarding the latest events in the Allison Baden-Clay case.  Towards the end of the article there is a box labeled ‘Related Coverage’ which redirects readers to more information on the topic.



Example of a hyperlink


This is an example of a hyperlink.

It is my opinion that a reporter should never try to write for ‘everyone’ as that is a pretty much impossible task. But by following the ideas above; using hyperlinks to other articles and avoiding specific cultural language, it makes an article much more accessible to all consumers.


About alishearer

I am currently a third year journalism student at the University of Southern Queensland. II am completing a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in journalism and doing minors in Communications & Media as well as Creative Writing. This page is to post my articles and news stories so I can get viewers opinions and hopefully become a better writer.


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