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).
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.
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)
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.