A commentary on an Upstart article Commission into Family Violence delivers findings

by Qian Lu, SID: 450429523

This is a commentary on a news article Commission into Family Violence delivers findings, posted on Upstart, written by Matthew Elmas.

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A screenshot of the Upstart article

The concise and clear headlines with keywords is important to search engine optimisation  (SEO) (Bradshaw et al., 2011, p.36). This article has a clear and unambiguous headline. The simple introduction contains the information about who, what and when to lead readers.

This article also used video and photos to get readers engaged, moreover, the author used several hyperlinks to give background information and related stories.

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Author uses hyperlinks to give background information.

The site allows readers to comment on this article, which enhances the interactivity.

Tagging and categorising content contributes to SEO as well (ibid.), the tag “domestic violence” makes readers easier to search.

However, there are some drawbacks of this article.

Long article could be chunk out by white space, sub-headings, images, embedded video or audio. There are one image and an embedded video, but no sub-headings to navigate readers.

There is no social media share button on the site, so readers can not share it to others and the click rate would be low.

( Word count: 192)

References:

Bradshaw, P., & Rohumaa, L. (2013). The online journalism handbook: skills to survive and thrive in the digital age. Routledge. pp.29-46.

Elmas, M. (2016, March 30). Commission into Family Violence delivers findings. Retrieved from http://www.upstart.net.au/2016/03/30/royal-commission-into-family-violence-delivers-227-reccomendations/

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A commentary on an Upstart article Australia’s treatment of circus animals leaves a lot to be desired

This blog post aims to improve the scannability of an article “ Australia’s treatment of circus animals leaves a lot to be desire”, posted on Upstart, written by Katherine McLeod.

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A screenshoot of the Upstart article by Katherine McLeod

The headline of this article is clear and concise. This article also includes a lead which gives readers a brief and essential information to quickly understand the key points of the story. Using a lot of white space between paragraphs improves the readability of the article. It also uses hyperlinks to make readers get relevant information.

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A screenshoot of the Upstart article by Katherine McLeod

However, there are too many paragraphs and detailed information in the article making it boring for people who only have little time to scan. So I recommend using subheadings to guide readers get the most important information. This article only contains one picture in it. So, I strongly suggest that related pictures and videos should be included in to attract the attention of readers.

Tags are used on the bottom to make readers easily identify article categories. However, there is no sharing button. I suggest adding social media sharing buttons to indirectly increase the click rate.

( Jing Yu, SID: 450083624, Word count: 182)

Some improvement on an Upstart article Tobacco tax: A double-edged sword

 

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After searching for the online articles, I chose a story posted on Upstart with a headline Tobacco tax: A double-edged sword, which focuses on the effect of the policy as well as the impact on young Australians. I also found another article about the same topic on ABC News Online Tobacco tax increase flagged as possible revenue option for Federal budget.

Although the Upstart’s story has an attractive headline that catches readers’ eyes and interactive-features where readers can comment by leaving a reply below, there is also a lot of areas for improvement on this article.

To improve the scannability of the text, I would try to add some subheadings such as “the policy””hard to give up” “diminish returns” to give the readers numerous points into the news.It would also give readers an idea of what they are getting.

Browsing the whole article is a little boring because there is not a video or a picture. The multimedia content can make it easier to attract reader’s reading interest and for readers to understand. I would add one or two smoking related pictures or a bar chart to illustrate the data mentioned in the article.

( Congying Li,  SID:450487970, Word count: 199)

Principles of Online Journalism: Recent Guardian Article as Case-Study

While browsing The Guardian for this task I found a story on a recent FlyDubai plane crash in Russia, in which 62 people died. I chose this article as many of the features of online journalism — that were covered both in class and in the required readings — were clearly displayed.

There is a clear and concise headline that contains the key points of the story, and an ‘intro-as-summary’ ; as Rohumaa argues, these are vital aspects of ‘search engine optimisation’ (SEO) and improve the ‘scannability’ of an article (2011:36).

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Video embed and paragraph style (screenshot).

 

There is also a lot of white space on the page. Paragraphs are of similar but easily digestible length, allowing the eye to ‘easily take in the point and orientate on a scrolling page’ (Dorner, 2002:56).

There are two embedded videos, two photos, six hyperlinks (easily noticeable due to the standard blue font colouring), and an intuitive and eye-catching map of the doomed plane’s final moments, along with a separate graphic that shows the drop in altitude that preceded the impact.

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Flight map graphic (screenshot).

One way to improve the article would be the addition of bullet points with the major facts of the disaster; though with nearly 1700 shares on social media, the article’s author Shaun Walker is clearly an experienced hand in the world of online journalism.

(Tamas Allenby, SID: 310218586. Word count: 209)

References: 

Dorner , J. (2002). ‘Good Web Writing’. In: Writing for the Internet. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rohumaa, L. and Bradshaw, P. (2011) ‘Writing for the Web’. In: The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age. Routledge.

A commentary on an Upstart article regarding the Victorian pill testing

by Winmas Yu (SID: 450536382)

This post is a commentary on an article regarding the Victorian yet-to-be approved pill testing scheme, posted on Upstart, written by Brittany Lyons.

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A screenshot of the Upstart article by Brittany Lyons.

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Areas for improvement on an Upstart article

 

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The text lacks visual appeal without sub-headings, bullet points and photos

After browsing through online articles on health, particularly on obesity, I came across an interesting story on ABC News Online entitled “Emotional eating fuelling Australia’s obesity epidemic, psychologist says”.

I found another article on Upstart that tackled the same topic with the headline, “Don’t sugarcoat stress”.

Although Upstart’s story has a catchier headline, it has several areas for improvement.

Scrolling the entire text is overwhelming since it looks lengthy and it does not have sub-headings to give readers an idea of what they are getting. Subheadings enhance the scannability of a webpage, because they give readers numerous entry points into the material (Rohumaa & Bradshaw, 2011, p. 37).

It would have also been better for Upstart to post key points about the article so that readers will have a gist of the story and its important parts. This can also enhance the audience’s recall of the story.

I also suggest pictures to be included in the article, to add to its visual appeal. Lastly, media-sharing buttons to other social networking sites will increase the article’s readership.

Despite the article’s areas for improvement, it still has good features. It is well tagged and a number of hyperlinks are available to lead readers to other sites which contain the story’s sources of information. . Hyperlinking allows multilinear or multisequential reading of text (Tapas, 2006, p.38). It also has interactive features wherein readers can comment on the article by leaving a reply below and they can also respond to the author via his twitter account which is hyperlinked on the page.

Name: Patricia Andrea Patena

Student ID: 460071754

Word Count: 258 words

References:

Rohumaa, L. and Bradshaw, P. (2011) ‘Writing for the Web’. In: The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age. Routledge.

Tapas, Ray (2006) Multimediality, Interactivity and Hypertextuality, in Online Journalism, New Delhi: Foundation Books.

 

 

Cyclone Victor claims six

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More than 20 houses were destroyed by Cyclone Victor in Honiara

Six people died and 18 were injured after cyclone Victor struck Honiara City yesterday. More than a hundred people were left homeless after strong winds destroyed at least 20 houses.

Among the six casualties, three men died from drowning when their car was blown off the road into the river by winds moving more than 140 kilometers per hour. Flying debris hit two women and a man who died from the impact.

Emergency personnel are still attending to the victims in hospitals, while awaiting information on injured individuals from other areas outside Honiara.

Several buildings sustained structural damages from the cyclone. Officials already began clearing operations in the affected areas.

Meteorologists at the Nadi Weather Centre detected the cyclone moving quickly towards the Solomon Islands at 2 a.m. yesterday and named it “Victor” after an hour.

Government officials immediately began emergency plans. They warned all shipping companies and sent broadcast warnings to radio stations and police departments.