The Need for a Digital “New Journalism”

The takeaway line from this piece from Frederic Filloux is “Digital media needs to invent its own journalistic genres.” Arguably it has already in some ways, but as the author says, newspaper writing can seem a little old-fashioned to many readers. The efficiency of the inverted pyramid still feels nicely suited to reading on the web – what are most tweets, besides quickly crafted ledes? – but maybe there are new modes of journalistic writing to be found.

Filloux lists four factors journalists should be thinking about in their writing: the readers’ time budget, building a relationship of trust with their readers, the “inside” competition from blogs on newspapers’ websites, and the influence of more long-form, personal journalism of the sort you see in magazines.

Good advice. You may be writing for online primarily, and although the ingredients remain the same as traditional journalism: an audience, the facts, the story, and the words you choose, writing for the screen requires some adaptation from writing for a newspaper. More terse, but more personal. Fact-driven, but also relevant to your particular audience.

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