The three main views of online news writing:
1. The Engagement View: attracting and retaining an engaged audience through
thought-provoking and diverse content that appeals to multiple audiences.
2. The Entertainment View: providing compelling content that entertains while
also engaging with the audience.
3. The Economic View: attracting and delivering monetizable content that
generates a profitable return-on-investment for the owner/publisher.
Which one of these three main views does your
newsroom fit under most?
You might be surprised to learn that more and more brands are recognizing the
economic value of their digital newsrooms and are reaping the benefits of
producing engaging content across all platforms.
Here, we’ll explore the three main views of online news writing and how
publishers can position their newsrooms for success in the ever-changing
world of digital media.
The Engagement View
In the Engagement view, the goal is to attract, engage, and retain an audience
who are interested in the topic you’re covering. In the digital news landscape,
this largely means producing content that is both engaging and informative.
An engaging piece of content will most likely get clicked-on, shared, and
discussed more than an informative piece. A well-written, interesting
story can bring in more traffic and social media engagement than a dry
spreadsheet with bullet points of stats.
A diverse group of engaged readers is exactly what you’re after. The better
you are at engaging with all kinds of people, the greater the chance of
attracting a larger audience. To create a more engaging experience for your
readers, you need to think about the following:
1. Content strategy.
Just as you would in traditional media, you need to lay out the strategy for
your content. What do you intend to write about? What platforms do you intend to
use to disseminate your content?
The strategy should include goals, objectives, and metrics to measure your
success. For example, you might decide to increase web traffic by 50% in 2020 over
the previous year. To achieve this, you will need to consider what content
strategy you need to follow to generate the most interest in your content.
2. The Personae of your digital newsroom.
Unlike traditional journalists who report on important issues, uncover controversial topics,
or use a neutral point-of-view, digital journalists are often hired to produce
content that is entertaining, provocative, or controversial.
As a content strategist, you will need to consider how to position your
journalists within this framework to ensure that your media organization is
producing the right content at the right time to the right audience. One
question to ask yourself is, “Who is my audience?”
You should consider researching your audience before you begin content
production. Learn more about the types of people who use your products or
services and what they value in content.
3. The Tools of your Trade.
To be a successful digital journalist, you will need to be able to produce
entertaining and informative content quickly and accurately. To do this, you
will need access to the right tools. There are various software products available
to digital journalists, including:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of influencing the
ranking of your website or app in search engines like Google. You might want to
consider investing in SEO tools since a poorly optimized website can significantly
limit your reach to potential customers. A good SEO strategy can significantly
improve the search results for your website or app. When possible, you should
always aim to be located at the top of the organic search results for your
b. Content Management System (CMS).
A CMS allows you to publish content (such as webpages, articles, and
videos) with minimal editing. The content you publish with a CMS is known as
content “live” since it can be published and available for readers immediately. If
you’re new to content production and want to get your content out there
as quickly as possible, consider a CMS.
Analytics is the practice of collecting and analyzing data to understand
your site’s performance and the behaviour of your website’s visitors. With
analytics, you can discover things such as which content is most popular and
where your readers are coming from. Analytics can also help you determine what
online news publications and websites your audience prefer and which platforms
they use the most. Analytics can be incredibly helpful in understanding the
behaviour of your audience and the efficacy of your content strategy.
4. The Methodology you’ll use to Research Your Topic.
Once you have a clear idea of your topic’s main points, you can develop
methodologies for gathering and analyzing data. Your methodology will dictate the
approach you take to researching your topic. You can use the AP Style Guide as a
starting point for developing an approach that makes the most of your subject
matter expertise while also keeping within the realm of what is acceptable
5. What will your Budget be for this Project?
The final piece of the puzzle is the financial aspect of your content
strategy. You will need to set a budget for this project and stick to it. This
will be your guide for what you can and can’t spend on. Knowing your budget
limits will prevent you from over-spending on large projects that you cannot
afford. Smaller projects can be much more agile and can give you the results you
need without breaking the bank.
The Entertainment View
The Entertainment view centers on providing compelling content that
entertains while also engaging with the audience.
The goal with content in the Entertainment view is to attract, engage, and
retain audiences who are primarily there for the purpose of entertainment. The
opposite of entertainment is not news; it is distraction.
In the digital world, this typically means creating compelling content for
social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. Video content is growing as
a percentage of total internet content compared to text-based content, so you
need to be putting out video content if you want to remain relevant.
YouTube specifically focuses on encouraging people to engage with content
through commentaries, reactions, and shares. Every aspect of the platform is
designed to let viewers connect with content.
To attract an audience who wants to be entertained, you need to be
considering the following:
1. Your Theme and Style.
The first thing you will need to do is decide on a theme and style for your
content. You’ll want to pick a unifying theme that you can use across all
platforms and a unique style that won’t blend into the crowd. The best themes are
athletic, cartoon, colorful, and minimalistic.
2. Length of Content.
The next thing you will need to do is consider the length of your content.
YouTube recommends that your video content be between three and ten minutes.
Anything shorter and you won’t have time for the viewers to register all of the
key points, while longer videos will become tedious to watch. The sweet spot
for video content is between three and six minutes.
3. The Use of relevant Keywords.
You’ll want to incorporate keywords into your content wherever possible.
Choosing the right keywords takes a little bit of guesswork and you’ll want to
make sure they’re relevant to your subject matter. For example, if you’re
producing content about automobiles, you might want to incorporate the
keywords automobile, car, or vehicle into your content. If your content is
intended to reach a wide audience, you might want to consider choosing
Keywords-in-Context instead of just keywords. This will help ensure that your
keywords are actually applied to the text.
4. High-Quality, Uninterrupted Video.
To grab the attention of your audience, you need to go above and beyond with a
high-quality video. To do this, record your video using high-quality
equipment/software and avoid any pixelation, cutaways, or other video